How Does Eating Fast Food Increase Your Risk Of Cancer?

Eating lots of deep-fried foods such as chips, fried chicken and doughnuts is bad for your weight, but a new study has shown that these products seriously affect your wellbeing in other ways. According to investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, there is a wellness link between eating fast food and an increased risk of prostate cancer, and with more aggressive forms of the disease the effect seems to be slightly stronger.


Other studies have shown previously that eating foods made with high-heat cooking methods, such as grilled meats, may increase the risk of prostate cancer, but this study, which was published online in The Prostate by corresponding author Janet L. Stanford, PhD, and colleagues Marni Stott-Miller, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow and Marian Neuhouser, PhD, all from the Hutchinson Centre’s Public Health Sciences Division, is the first to examine the effects of adding deep frying to the equation.


The team discovered that eating fried foods more than once a week, specifically french fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts, were at a higher risk of prostate cancer than men who, by comparison, only reported eating such foods less than once a month. The level of cancer risk for men who ate one or more of these foods at least weekly ranged from 30 to 37%, and consuming these foods weekly was also linked to a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.


According to Stanford, ‘The link between prostate cancer and select deep-fried foods appeared to be limited to the highest level of consumption – defined in our study as more than once a week – which suggests that regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers particular risk for developing prostate cancer.’ She hypothesized the reason that this occurs may be due to potentially carcinogenic compounds forming in the food when it is heated enough for deep-fat frying, as well as high levels of advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs, which have been associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.


Stanford affirmed that whilst ‘to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to look at the association between intake of deep-fried food and risk of prostate cancer,’ other studies have linked deep-fried foods to cancers of the breast, lung, pancreas, head and neck, and oesophagus.


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