In Summary
  • The study included both white and African-American men and women aged 45 or older, who did not have heart disease when they began the study.
  • Participants enrolled from 2003 to 2007. They were first screened by telephone, then given an in-home physical exam, then they answered a food frequency questionnaire.

People who eat lots of fried food and sugary drinks have a 56 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to those who eat healthier, US researchers said Monday.

The findings in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, were based on a six-year study of more than 17,000 people in the United States.

Researchers found that people who regularly ate what was described as a Southern style diet — fried foods, eggs, processed meats like bacon and ham, and sugary drinks — faced the highest risk of a heart attack or heart-related death during the next six years.

"Regardless of your gender, race, or where you live, if you frequently eat a Southern-style diet you should be aware of your risk of heart disease and try to make some gradual changes to your diet," said lead researcher James Shikany, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Preventive Medicine.

CUT DOWN FRIED FOOD

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