The study, published online in the journal Circulation, found people who consumed fast-food even once a week increase their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent, in comparison to people who avoid fast-food. The risk increased by 50 percent for people who eat fast-food two to three times each week.
Andrew Odegaard, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral researcher, senior author Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and colleagues at the National University of Singapore, found eating fast-food two or more times a week increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.
The researchers analyzed the eating habits of 52,000 Chinese residents of Singapore who experienced a recent and sudden transition from traditional foods to Western-style fast food over a 16-year period beginning in 1993.
"What's interesting about the results is that study participants who reported eating fast-food most frequently were younger, better educated, smoked less and were more likely to be physically active," Odegaard said in a statement. "This profile is normally associated with lower cardio-metabolic risk."