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restaurant food

Eating a lot of restaurant food may be associated with a shorter lifespan, new research shows.

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics led by Dr. Wei Bao, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa reported that dining out frequently (two or more meals a day) is correlated to an increased risk of death from any cause.

In the study, Bao’s group tracked data from major U.S. government health surveys for 15 years. The surveys included face-to-face interviews of more than 35,000 adults over the age of 19. Participants’ answers on daily nutrition were compared to death records. Overall, there were 2,781 deaths recorded. When comparing people who ate less than one meal per week away from home, those that ate two or more meals per day away from home were 49% more likely to die of any cause during the study period. Additionally, they had a 67% higher risk of dying from cancer, and an 18% increased risk for death from heart disease.

Besides shortening life, restaurant meals are notoriously high in fat (which adds to insulin resistance) and the carbs are very difficult to count. Additionally, portion sizes are typically larger and some restaurants even inject foods with sugar.

Roach, a cardiac dietitian points out that beyond the high intake of bad dietary factors like fat, salt, and sugar, restaurant meals may also include higher levels of a lesser-known ingredient, phthalates, which are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Those who ate out more had higher levels of phthalates in their blood.


IDSEating at home and preparing your own meals has many benefits from a blood sugar standpoint and overall health. If you would like help deciding on what foods to include for a healthy and balanced diet give our office a call at 877-735-3648 or outside the US: 001-610-642-6055 to work closely with one of our dieticians. Our team can also provide you with advanced carb counting and restaurant food glucose management strategies and provide Diabetes Wellness Consultation & Comprehensive Weight Management Coaching

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