Junk-food increasing heart disease in Southeast Asians

Junk-food increasing heart disease in Southeast Asians

Not only are we killing ourselves in record numbers with slow, early, painful preventable diseases but we are now exporting this rubbish to Asian countries as well. 

Chinese heart disease rates climbing

  • Chinese-Singaporeans eating fast food four times or more each week had nearly an 80% increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease
  • Chinese-Singaporeans who reported eating American-style fast food twice a week were 56% more likely to die of heart disease
  • Chinese-Singaporeans who reported eating American-style fast food twice a week were 27% more likely to develop diabetes (and cancer) 

Mark Pereira, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the School of Public Health’s Division of Epidemiology and Community Health said “The big picture is that this [fast food] aspect of globalization and exportation of U.S. and Western culture might not be the best thing to spread to cultures around the world.  Global public health efforts should focus on maintaining the positive aspects of traditional cultures, while preventing the spread of outside influences thought to be harmful based on the scientific evidence”.

Andrew Odegaard, Ph.D., M.P.H., study lead author and Research Associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University Of Minnesota School Of Public Health in Minneapolis, said “We wanted to examine the association of Western-style fast food with cardio-metabolic risk in a Chinese population in Southeast Asia that has become a hotbed for diabetes and heart disease.  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.  Western style fast food intake in East and Southeast Asia started becoming more prominent in the late 1980s into the 1990s. This provided an avenue to participate in American culture, which is very different from the historical dietary culture of these populations.  What’s interesting about the results is that study participants who reported eating fast food most frequently were younger, better educated, smoked less and were more likely to be physically active.  This profile is normally associated with lower cardio-metabolic risk”. 

Study by Odegaard and University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers as published in Circulation, from the American Heart Association, on July 2, 2012.  Data was reviewed from the Singapore Chinese Health Study on 52,584 Chinese-Singaporeans aged 45-75, for 16 years from 1993-2009.  The National Institutes of Health funded the study.  As reported by GlobeNewswire.com, timesofindia.com and medicalexpress.com on July 2, 2012. 

Posted: Monday 9 July 2012

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