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.

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30 comments

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V.3 years ago

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

Julie H.
Julie Hoffman3 years ago

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

Yvette S.
Yvette S.3 years ago

Noted

Kasia Y.
Kasia Y.3 years ago

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.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim3 years ago

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.

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

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

Sam M.
Sam E M.3 years ago

[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.



vernon stuttard
vernon stuttard3 years ago

I'm NOT lovin' (sh) it

Loo Samantha
Loo sam3 years ago

noted

Monica D.
M D.3 years ago

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