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In 2004, when Morgan Spurlock made the film “Super Size Me” documenting his month of eating only fast food, the film director found that 30 days of nothing but meals at McDonald’s seemed to just about destroy his heart health.
Well, University of Minnesota researchers have found evidence that the heart-destructive effects Spurlock experienced are causing measureable cardiovascular damage in the world’s population.
According to their study that looked specifically at how fast food has impacted the health of Singapore, eating fast food once a week may increase your risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent compared to someone who never eats fast food. Eat fast food three times a week and your risk climbs by 50 percent. Indulge four or more times weekly and the risk expands by 80 percent.
At the same time, two or more fast food meals a week increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.
To arrive at their results, the Minnesota researchers worked alongside scientists from the National University of Singapore. Together, they examined the results of a 16-year study analyzing the eating habits of 52,000 Chinese residents of Singapore who have experienced a recent and sudden transition from traditional foods to Western-style fast food.
“What we found was a dramatic public health impact by fast food, a product that is primarily a Western import into a completely new market,” says researcher Andrew Odegaard, Ph.D., M.P.H.