Fast food products contribute to increased risk of chronic diseases – study

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA (PNA) — — Consuming fast food products can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes among the youth, a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of the Philippines-Diliman showed.

The research showed that most fast food products that are consumed by young people were dense in energy but low in fiber.

Meaty dishes were found out to have exceeded the recommended amount of energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and cholesterol for people ages 16 to 18 years old.

On the other hand, side dishes and condiments contained considerable amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium with sweetened beverages and deserts contributing to the total amount of energy from meals.

“Excessive energy content, cholesterol, fats and sugar lead to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” Cecile Klaudine Cabigas, one of the researchers, said.

The researchers urged fast food establishments to set nutrition labels on their food products and develop healthier combinations in their “value meals” to promote healthy food options and reduce the incidence of NCDs.

The youth must also be encouraged to have regular exercises and participate in sports.

Around 1,030 college students aged 16-20 years old were surveyed on their commonly consumed fast food products which were examined by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

The study was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development under the Department of Health’s Health Systems Research Management Program.

NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes killed more than 36 million people making it the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. (Philippine News Agency)