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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dining out may send your blood pressure soaring

Researchers from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS), have shown for the first time an association between meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure, and the findings highlight lifestyle factors that can affect hypertension and emphasize the importance of being aware of the salt and calorie content in food, to facilitate better meal choices when eating out.
Professor Tazeen Jafar, including Duke-NUS medical student Dominique Seow, surveyed 501 university-going young adults aged 18 to 40 years in Singapore. Data on blood pressure, body mass index and lifestyle, including meals eaten away from home and physical activity levels, were collected. Their association with hypertension was then determined.
Using statistical analysis, the team found that pre-hypertension was found in 27.4 percent of the total population, and 38 percent ate more than 12 meals away from home per week; while the gender breakdown showed that pre-hypertension was more prevalent in men (49 percent) than in women (9 percent). Those who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were more likely to eat more meals away from home per week, have a higher mean body mass index, have lower mean physical activity levels, and be current smokers.
What is also significant is that even eating one extra meal out, raised the odds of pre-hypertension by 6 percent.
Dr. Jafar said that their research plugged that gap and highlights lifestyle factors associated with pre-hypertension and hypertension that are potentially modifiable, and would be applicable to young adults globally, especially those of Asian descent.
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