Does eating out cause hypertension?

A quick dash towards the local burger joint or a slap-up splurge at a swanky restaurant will cause pain to your pay check as well as your blood pressure. New information shows that eating out boosts the risk of hypertension or pre-hypertension. (BP readings having a systolic pressure from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg are considered prehypertension. Readings greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg are considered hypertension).

The study of university students by scientists in the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) is the first to show this type of outcomes of meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure level. Previous research has shown that eating at restaurants is assigned to higher calorie, saturated fat, and salt intake. This can be a perfect pathway to hypertension.

Globally, high blood pressure may be the leading risk factor for death related to coronary disease. Even teenagers with slightly hypertension have a greater risk of developing hypertension.

Duke-NUS Professor Tazeen Jafar designed and supervised the research to locate behaviors related to hypertension inside a teen population in Southeast Asia. Her team, including Duke-NUS medical student Dominique Seow, surveyed 501 university-going teenagers aged 18 to 40 years in Singapore. Data on blood pressure level, bmi and lifestyle, including meals eaten away from home and physical activity levels, were collected.

Analysis from the data found pre-hypertension in 27.4% of the people in this country, while 38% ate more than 12 meals away from home per week. Pre-hypertension was more prevalent in males (49%) compared to women (9%). People who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were more prone to eat more meals away from home each week, possess a higher mean bmi, have lower mean exercise levels, and become current smokers.

Dr. Jafar’s team have demonstrated a definite link between pre-hypertension and hypertension with meals eaten abroad. They discovered that even eating one extra meal out raised the chances of prehypertension by 6%.

\”While there has been studies conducted in the usa and Japan to locate behaviors associated with hypertension, very few have surveyed a Southeast Asian population,\” said Dr. Jafar. \”Our research plugs that gap and highlights lifestyle factors associated with pre-hypertension and hypertension that are potentially modifiable, and could be applicable to young adults globally, particularly those of Asian descent.\”

The team hope the findings may be used to modify behavior through changes in clinical and policy recommendations. Clinicians can intervene to advise teenagers to modify their lifestyle behaviors while food changes to our policy can be created to regulate salt and fat in eateries. Clinicians can also advise younger male patients that they\’re at higher risk for pre-hypertension to make them more aware of their predisposition to the condition.

This study was published within the?American Journal of Hypertension and was based on the Duke-NUS Signature Research Programme, with funding in the Singapore Secretary of state for Health.

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