Eating out tied to high blood pressure
A new study of university students in Singapore has shown a significant link between hypertension and eating out frequently. While previous studies have found that eating out led to a greater intake of calories, saturated fat and salt, this research suggests a more direct link between dining out and high blood pressure--the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Researchers surveyed 501 university students ages 18 to 40 in Singapore by collecting information on their blood pressure, body mass index, lifestyle, physical activity levels, and how frequently they choose to dine out. Analysis of the data found that students with hypertension or pre-hypertension were likely to eat out more often, have a higher BMI, lower levels of exercise, and be current smokers than the students without any sort of hypertension. The data also showed that 27.4 percent of students had pre-hypertension, 49 percent of men and 9 percent of women had pre-hypertension, and 38 percent of the students ate more than 12 meals out.
The study also found that eating just one extra meal out per week was associated with a 6 percent increase in the risk of developing pre-hypertension.
The researchers said that based on their findings, doctors should advise their patients--particularly their young male patients--to modify their eating habits to lower their risk of developing high blood pressure.