Reason Why You Should Avoid Areas Surrounded By Fast Food

A new study warns that being surrounded by fast food restaurants can harm you. Yes, it has been widely reported that their food contribute to obesity but there is another reason to avoid such places. 

Researchers found that the areas with a higher number of fast food restaurants also have higher rates of heart attacks. The study shows that for every fast food outlet added to an area, four additional cases of heart attacks occur every year. 

“The results emphasise the importance of the food environment as a potential contributor towards health,” Tarunpreet Saluja, study author from the University of Newcastle in Australia, said in a statement.

The findings come from the analysis of data on 3,070 patients admitted to hospitals with a heart attack between 2011 and 2013. Researchers focused on their health and surrounding fast food environment.

The team looked at the total number of fast food outlets within local government areas and compared data with other areas to see how the restaurants contribute to cases of heart attack.

Saluja explained that poor nutritional value, high consumption of salt and saturated fat from fast food have long been linked to poor heart health. The researchers found that rates of heart attacks were high in all places with many fast food restaurants both in rural and metropolitan areas. 

"It is known that eating fast foods is linked with a higher likelihood of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks,” Saluja said. "Ischaemic heart disease, including heart attack, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide." 

However, he noted that despite the reported negative effects of fast food, the public continues to increase its consumption. The researcher then called on health officials to work on new strategies and legislation to address the role of food availability in communities.  

"The ubiquitous presence of fast food is an important consideration for the ongoing development of rural and metropolitan areas," Saluja added. 

Future changes in public policy could help communities improve health and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Tom Marwick, chair of the scientific program committee at the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). 

burger fast food Fast food has long been linked to poor health due to high amounts of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Pixabay