ISLAMABAD - A new study has found that a regular serving of fried chicken or fish can increase the risk of death from any cause except cancer. Specifically, fried chicken increases the risk of death by 13 per cent while heart-related death risk is up by 12 per cent.  Further, even fried fish raises the risk of death by 7 per cent and heart-related death by 13 per cent, Khaleej Times reported .

The study done in postmenopausal women in the US was published in the medical journal BMJ,

It highlights the food habits of almost 107,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 from 40 clinics across the United States between 1993 and 1998. They were followed up for an average of 18 years.

The study states that women who consumed fried chicken once or more per day had a 13 per cent higher risk of death from any cause compared with women who did not eat any fried food. While Women eating a daily portion of fried fish or shellfish saw a 7 per cent greater risk of death.

“We know fried food consumption is something very common in the United States and also around the world. Unfortunately, we know very little about long-term health effect of fried food consumption,” explained the study’s lead author, Wei Bao, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa. The authors added that limiting the consumption of fried foods, in particular fried chicken and fish, could therefore be good for public health.

Women who enrolled in Bao’s study completed a food frequency questionnaire asking about consumption and portion size of 122 food items, including fried chicken and fish, as well as french fries, tortillas and tacos. Other factors related to mortality, such as education level, income, total energy consumption and overall diet quality, were taken into account in the team’s calculations as well.

Bao explained that fried food’s link to health outcomes is the combined effect from the food itself and the frying process. “If you fry fish, it may turn a good thing into a harmful thing. Although there is an increased risk of eating fried food in terms of mortality, the risk is lower with low frequency,” Bao said.