Eating out raises your risk of obesity and diabetes

Eating more meals at home could lower your risk of obesity, according to researchers from Queens College, City University, New York, who found that those who frequently dined out – especially those who ate fast-food meals – had a higher risk of becoming overweight or developing high cholesterol and later possibly developing diabetes. In a study of more than 8,300 adults, those who ate six or more meals a week away from home not only had a higher body mass index, and lower good cholesterol, but also had lower blood concentrations of key nutrients including vitamins C and E. Women and those over 50 were more likely to develop the negative health effects, researchers said, even though men were more likely to dine out. Reasons for this may include larger restaurant portion sizes as well increased fat, sodium and calories in restaurant meals compared to meals made at home. Fast-food meals are also less likely to include whole grains or nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables compared to at-home meals. “Away from home meals are known to be energy-dense and of poor diet quality, and have been implicated as contributors to higher body weight and adverse health outcomes,” wrote the research team, headed by Ashima Kant. The study appeared in the International Journal of Obesity.

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