January. Jan. 13, 2023 — A new study showing that eating fast food is bad for the liver may prompt people to eat less fast food in the new year.
Eating at least 20% of daily fast food calories increases risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a potentially life-threatening condition in which fat builds up in the liver, study finds . This disease can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and its complications, including liver failure and liver cancer.
People with obesity or diabetes are more susceptible to the harmful effects of fast food on the liver, although the general population is not immune.
“I hope this study encourages people to seek out more nutritious, healthier food choices,” said lead researcher Ani Kardashian, MD, of the Keck Medicine Center of USC.
“At the policy level, the need for public health efforts to improve access to affordable, healthy, and nutritious food choices across the United States is especially important because More people are turning to fast food during the economic crisis epidemic and food prices have risen sharply in the past year due to food inflation,” she said.
Researchers analyzed diets of nearly 4,000 adults and fatty liver measurement data.
Nearly 30% of them got 20% of their total daily calories from fast food or more, such as burgers, fries, pizza, etc.
They found that obese or diabetic patients who ate one-fifth or more of their daily calories from fast food had very high fa levels compared to those who ate little or no fast food In contrast, they have t in their livers.
Liver fat increases modestly in the general population when one-fifth or more of the diet consists of fast food.
Kardashian said the findings are especially “worrisome” given the growth in fast food consumption over the past 50 years, regardless of socioeconomic status.
“If people only eat one meal a day at a fast food restaurant, they might think They did no harm. However, they put their livers at risk if they had a meal equal to at least one-fifth of their daily calories,” she said.
For those who have limited options and need to eat fast food, “Most restaurants have healthy options; you just have to read labels, watch calories and order more Be smart about your healthy choices,” said Nancy Reau, MD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who was not involved in the study. DO Lisa Ganjhu, NYU Langone Health, NYC, agrees.
“I am a firm believer that fast food causes fatty liver disease. It goes hand in hand and I counsel and guide my patients on healthy eating and exercise, And I’ve been very successful,” she said.
“If my patients eat at McDonald’s regularly, I basically browse the menu with them and help them find something healthy. When patients see the benefits of reducing fat and carbs when they are more inclined to continue,”