A study conducted in the United States found that subjects who indulged in a daily fried chicken meal had a 13% higher risk of death. It was published in the medical journal BMJ last Wednesday and has since made many readers question their dieting habits.
While the study wasn’t as specific as it could’ve been, it does highlight the importance of knowing the effects of what you eat. Every person is different and would require different diets, but there are certain universally applicable habits that would improve everyone’s health. As discovered, one of these things is limiting one's fried chicken intake.
The observational study was conducted on 107,000 women aged 50 to 79 across 40 clinics. Each woman was observed for an average of 18 years. Researchers found that women who ate a serving of fried food a day had an 8% higher risk of death from all causes, particularly cardiovascular diseases. The fried food that was most at fault was fried chicken, and fried fish coming in second by increasing risks by 7%. While it was already known that 25-35% of North American adults eat fast food or fried food daily, this study adds knowledge of its links to deaths—particularly in postmenopausal women.
A key factor that the study advocates for is limiting the intake of fried food in general. Wei Bao, the study’s lead author, stated that it’s the process of frying that turns good food into bad food instead of the food itself. The oil, although the study wasn’t able to identify a particular kind of oil, contributes a lot to turning good food into unhealthy food—especially in restaurants where the oil is recycled. Instead of completely banning from fried food, it would be okay to limit fried food portions consumed on a regular basis.
While the study focused on postmenopausal women, it can be applied to all demographics. Further studies need to be conducted, but in general, fried food can be ultra-processed and high in sodium, especially if bought at a fast food chain. Even though we want to, it’s probably not a good idea to eat fried chicken on a daily basis.