Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life near fast food restaurants unhealthy

New research in the USA says it is unhealthy to live in areas with lots of fast food restaurants. A study by the University of Michigan said people who live within walking distance of fast food restaurants have a 13 per cent higher chance of having a stroke. Lead researcher Dr. Lewis Morgenstern and his team analyzed the social status of the 1,247 people who had strokes in an area of Texas over a three-year period. The area was home to 262 fast food restaurants. The team compared the stroke victims’ social status with how close they lived to the restaurants. He concluded there was a strong relationship between the distance someone lived to fast food restaurants and their chances of having a stroke.
A stroke is similar to a heart attack, except it attacks the brain. Strokes are among the biggest killers in the USA. Many are the result of unhealthy eating. A diet that has a large amount of fast food and other junk food increases the chances of having a stroke. Dr. Morgenstern’s research found that there could be up to 33 different fast food restaurants in an area. This puts people living nearby more at risk of a stroke. Dr. Morgenstern said he didn’t know whether it was the actual fast food that increased the risk of stroke. He said fast food restaurants are more common in poorer neighbourhoods where people are less educated and generally have unhealthier and more stressful lifestyles.

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