Have you cut back on Fast Food?

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • If you had a heart attack, would you use that as a wake-up call to change your habits? I'm surprised to say that recent research says a heart attack isn't enough of an incentive for most people.

    Fast Food Intake Pre & Post Heart Attack

    A study published this month in The American Journal of Cardiology investigated the association between fast food intake and characteristics associated with its consumption in heart attack patients.

    The study looks at fast food consumption in 2481 patients at the time of their heart attack and 6 months later. Fast food intake was divided into two categories - 1. Frequent equaling weekly or more often and 2. Infrequent equaling less than weekly.

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    The initial assessment revealed 884 patients (36%) with a frequent intake of fast food. This number decreased to 504 (20%) at the 6 month follow-up.

    The study found older individuals who underwent coronary bypass surgery we not as likely to consume fast food. Individuals more likely to consume fast food were younger male patients with a lower level of education at the 6 month follow-up.

    Less Than 50% Made a Change

    It's interesting to see that out of 884 people frequently consuming fast food prior to a heart attack only 380 individuals cut back on their intake of fast food. That's 42%. Less than half of the patients that needed to make a change to reduce their risk of a future heart attack. Why do you think this is? A lack of education? Lack of support? Just Don't care?

    Regardless of the fact that fast food is typically inexpensive and convenient, it is high in saturated fat, sodium, and calories. Frequent consumption of fast food puts you on track for a future heart attack. Whether or not you consume fast food is a habit you can change.

    Be sure to sign up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure provided by Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.



Published On: February 21, 2011