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Fast Food Joints Export Poor Health to Singapore

Fast Food Joints Export Poor Health to Singapore

Besides being generous to Singaporeans with their portions of burgers and fries, western-style fast food joints are being generous with coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The latest research was published online by the American Heart Association. The Singapore Chinese Health Study carried out by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that even once-weekly consumption of fast food increased the risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) by 20 percent.

Add another two or three fast-food meals per week, and the risk jumps to 56 percent. Those eating four or five fast-food meals were practically committing suicide, as their risk of CHD soared to 80 percent. The increased risk of type 2 diabetes was more modest but still high.

The influence of a western diet is relatively recent in Singapore, dating from the late 80s and early 90s, so the region is a good test case for the impact of a diet of highly processed foods and their accompanying loads of salt, fat and sugar.

The fast-food industry will no doubt weigh in with its usual arguments: The people who reported their dietary intake likely had other risk factors, such as smoking and inactivity. Fast food is only one contributor. All things in moderation.

At the same time, those who oppose any kind of push back toward an industry that cares more about profit than the health of its customers will continue crying, “Nanny State!!!” whenever someone comes up with a strategy for opposing action. Mayor Bloomberg could attest to that.

However, as health systems around the world sag under the increasing weight of chronic diseases, the pro-fast-food and anti-nanny-state messages are ringing hollow. Our right to kill ourselves slowly does not extend to picking each otherís pockets, which is what we are doing with our health-undermining western diet.

Related Care2 Stories

Obesity in Asia: American Fast Food Is Fare for the Rich

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30 comments

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1:11AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

LIFE is about choices, to each their own.
No DEMAND= no SUPPLY
THINK!!!!!!!!!!!

4:09PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Ppl need to just stop being sensitive and realize their health is their responsibility

6:04AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Noted

11:15AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

If you care about your health, the environment and the economy, you wouldn't eat processed food made in a factory by unskilled migrant labourers employed at $3 an hour because slavery is presently illegal. I avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates which means almost no restaurants and very little in the supermarket I can eat, but I'm in better health than my family physician.

9:37AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

People need to be aware of what they're eating. Fast food will kill you in the end, but not many people seem to care because it's not instant death. They'll slowly let themselves deteriorate and when it get to a critical point, they'll start complaining. I hope people change quickly.

8:19AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

So the US can add poor health to hate as major exports now?

1:18AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

[Quote Ernest R.]@ Sam M. “fast food restaurants cannot be held responsible for individual eating habits”, Can they not be held responsible for misleading propaganda or for toxic, carcinogenic or unhealthful ingredients hidden from their discerning customers ? Probably not. as long as their lobbyists make sure there are no laws that cause them problems, and as long as the brainwashed public defends its right to poison itself with supersized non-foods. Anyway, it's probably our best option for population control.
.. “chocolate” If you think chocolate is unhealthy. Just stick with your fast food choices. So long..[Quote]
Yes, any restaurant is responsible for toxic ingredients in their food, but are there no controls? If there are no legal procedures in place to condemn them then it probably means they remain within the limits allowed. There is enough media coverage of what goes into fast food anyhow so most people who read newspapers, listen to the radio, or watch TV must surely be well informed by now and they're responsible for their own choices. I rarely eat fast food (don't eat meat).
I do eat dark chocolate as it's said to have health benefits and satisfies the craving for chocolate. But many chocolate bars ARE unhealthy because of other ingredients and fat.



12:54AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

I'm NOT lovin' (sh) it

11:01PM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

noted

8:55PM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Governments should regulate if necessary to ensure that food sold is healthy to eat.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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