Living near a ‘food swamp’ could increase your risk of deadly illness

LIVING near burger joints and supermarkets increases the elderly’s risk of suffering a fatal stroke, new research has found.

Cases of the deadly disease are up 13 percent in neighborhoods with an abundance of junk food outlets, scientists say.

Those living in


Those living in “food swamps” are at increased risk of suffering a strokePhoto credit: Getty

The results are based on nearly 18,000 US over-50s who were tracked for up to seven years.

The lead author Dr. Dixon Yang said, “Our research underscores the potential importance of an area’s retail food options as a structural factor influencing stroke, particularly given that most participants lived in areas with six times as many relatively unhealthy foods as healthy foods.”

In these areas, dubbed “food swamps,” restaurants and shops line the streets with a plethora of high-calorie, nutrient-poor dishes and snacks.

dr Yang of Columbia University, New York, said: “Despite major advances in stroke care, stroke remains a significant problem and some people remain at risk despite optimal medical treatment.

“An unhealthy diet has a negative impact on blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of stroke. – regardless of one’s demographics or socioeconomic status.

“Living in a neighborhood with an abundance of poor food choices can be an important factor for many people to consider,” she added.

Eating too many burgers, pizzas, sausage rolls and fries has previously been linked to higher rates of heart disease.

The study, presented at a meeting of the American Stroke Association in Dallas, is one of the first to look at the specific link between stroke and eating fast food.

dr Yang and colleagues analyzed data collected between 2010 and 2016 from participants in the ongoing Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

They compared residents’ health to the “level” of health food stores and fast-food restaurants.

In the UK, almost two in three adults are overweight or obese.
dr Yang said, “At this early stage of our research, it is important to raise awareness that a person’s neighborhood and dietary environment are potentially important factors affecting their health, particularly in people who may have difficulty achieving optimal cardiovascular health goals.” to reach.

“In the future, it may be helpful to focus on community-based interventions or nutritional advice to improve cardiovascular health and thereby hopefully reduce the risk of stroke.”

The American Heart Association promotes guidelines that ensure healthy eating throughout the lifespan and provide all people with the knowledge and tools to prepare, eat, and store nutritious food.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

The FAST method — which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time — is the easiest way to remember the most common stroke symptoms:

f = Droopy face – if one side of a person’s face droops or is numb then ask them to smile, if it is uneven then you should seek help.

A = Arm weakness – if one arm is weak or numb, you should ask the person to raise both arms. If an arm is drifting down, you may need to get help

S = Difficulty speaking – If a person’s speech is slurred, it could be a sign of a stroke

T = Time to call 999 – if a person exhibits the above signs they need to call 999 in the UK or 911 in the US for emergency care.

Other symptoms are:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • difficulty finding words
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of vision
  • sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
  • sudden and severe headache
  • difficulties to understand

Dietary intake, which is influenced by food insecurity, is one of the main factors in cardiovascular disease risk. The low prevalence of ideal nutrition drives the overall low prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health.

Lifestyle expert Dr. Anne Thorndike of Massachusetts General Hospital, who was not involved with the project, said: “In this study of older, community-living adults in the US, the majority of people living in densely populated areas lived on unhealthy dietary choices.

“The link between having a stroke and living in an unhealthy eating environment underscores the importance of effective policies and programs that can help increase access to healthier eating options for all Americans.” Living near a ‘food swamp’ could increase your risk of deadly illness

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