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Eating fast food linked to potentially life-threatening liver condition, new study finds

Eating fast food linked to potentially life-threatening liver condition, new study finds


If you need another reason to quit your late-night fast food habit, a new eye-opening study on the harmful effects of fast food may provide just that. (Alicia Clarke, Alamy)

Estimated duration: 2-3 minutes

TORONTO—If you need another reason to quit your late-night McDonald’s habit, a new eye-opening study on the harmful effects of fast food may provide just that.

Peer-reviewed study from Keck Medicine at USC A study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that fast food consumption was associated with the potentially life-threatening condition of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“Our findings are particularly alarming because fast food consumption has increased over the past 50 years, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Ani Kardashian, a hepatologist and lead author of the study. said in a press release.

People surveyed in studies who ate one-fifth of their daily calories from fast food were found to have significantly higher fat levels in their livers compared to those who ate less or none at all. rice field.

Studies have found that even people who eat relatively small amounts of fast food can harm their liver.

Researchers analyzed recent data from the 2017-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study, the largest annual nutrition study in the United States, was conducted to determine how eating fast food affects fatty liver, a condition caused by excessive fat accumulation. . to your liver.

Fast food was categorized as either drive-thru restaurants or restaurants without wait staff, including pizza.

The researchers compared fatty liver measurements in about 4,000 adults who participated in the study to their fast food consumption and found that 52% of those evaluated consumed fast food.

Of this group, 29 people consumed more than 20% of their daily calories from fast food. This percentage of people were the only ones in the study who showed elevated liver fat levels.

Even after adjusting data for other factors such as age, sex, race, ethnicity, alcohol use, and physical activity, the prevalence of the association between fast food and fatty liver remained unchanged in the general population and in obese or diabetic patients. It applied to both.

About 29% of Canadian adults aged 18 and over will be obese in 2021, and 36% will be overweight, according to Statista.

Kardashian says that while there have been other studies linking fast food and obesity, this is the first study to find an effect on liver health.

Another study found that fat intake should be less than 30% of daily calories, and to improve NAFLD, consume anti-inflammatory foods rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. is essential.

Foods such as avocados, nuts, and fish are some of the foods high in these beneficial fatty acids.

Researchers say these findings will encourage healthcare providers to provide more dietary education to patients in the future for patients at high risk of developing NAFLD from fast food, such as those who are obese or diabetic. I hope to

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