A study published in the British Medical Journal has found that regular consumption of fried foods may increase the risk of death from any cause among older women. The study also linked a higher risk of heart-related death among younger women between the ages of 50 and 65 to foods, such as fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish. According to sciencedaily.com, the researchers suggested that reducing the consumption of fried foods could have a positive impact on public health. The researchers used questionnaire data to assess the diets of 106,966 women, aged 50 to 79, who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative between 1993-1998 and who were followed up to February 2017.
They noted that during this time, 31,588 deaths occurred, including 9,320 heart-related deaths, 8,358 cancer deaths and 13,880 from other causes. The researchers found that regular consumption of fried foods was associated with a heightened risk of death, specifically heart-related death, after taking account of potentially influential factors such as lifestyle, overall diet quality, education level and income. They said that those who ate one or more servings a day had an eight per cent higher risk, compared with those who did not eat fried food. “One or more servings of fried chicken a day was linked to a 13 per cent higher risk of death from any cause and a 12 per cent higher risk of heart-related death compared with no fried food. “Similarly, one or more servings of fried fish/shellfish a day were linked to a seven per cent higher risk of death from any cause and a 13 per cent higher risk of heart-related death, compared with no fried food,” the researchers wrote. The study authors, however, found no evidence that eating fried food was associated with cancer-related death. “Women who ate fried foods more regularly tended to be younger, non-white, with less education and a lower income. They were also more likely to be smokers, exercise less and have a lower quality diet. “This is an observational study which only considers women in the United States. So it may not be applicable more widely,” they noted.