Southern meals likely increase odds of stroke

  • February 7, 2013 - 6:45 PM

Deep-fried foods may be causing trouble in the Deep South.

People whose diets are heavy on them and sugary drinks such as sweet tea and pop were more likely to suffer a stroke, a new study finds. It's the first big look at diet and strokes, and researchers say it might help explain why blacks in the Southeast -- the nation's "stroke belt" -- suffer more of them.

Blacks were five times more likely than whites to have the Southern dietary pattern linked with the highest stroke risk. Diet might explain as much as two-thirds of the excess stroke risk seen in blacks vs. whites, researchers said Thursday.

"We're talking about fried foods, French fries, hamburgers, processed meats, hot dogs," bacon, ham, liver, gizzards and sugary drinks, said the study's leader, Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

People who ate about six meals a week featuring those foods had a 41 percent higher stroke risk than people who ate that way about once a month.

Results were reported at a conference in Honolulu.


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