Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: a prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men

Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;100(2):667-75. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.084129. Epub 2014 Jun 18.


Background: Through the processes of oxidation, polymerization, and hydrogenation, the cooking method of frying modifies both foods and their frying medium. However, it remains unknown whether the frequent consumption of fried foods is related to long-term cardiometabolic health.

Objective: We examined fried-food consumption and risk of developing incident type 2 diabetes (T2D) or coronary artery disease (CAD).

Design: Fried-food consumption was assessed by using a questionnaire in 70,842 women from the Nurses' Health Study (1984-2010) and 40,789 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010) who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate RRs and 95% CIs for T2D and CAD adjusted for demographic, diet, lifestyle, and other cardiometabolic risk factors. Results were pooled by using an inverse variance-weighted random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: We documented 10,323 incident T2D cases and 5778 incident CAD cases. Multivariate-adjusted RRs (95% CIs) for individuals who consumed fried foods <1, 1-3, 4-6, or ≥7 times/wk were 1.00 (reference), 1.15 (0.97, 1.35), 1.39 (1.30, 1.49), and 1.55 (1.32, 1.83), respectively, for T2D and 1.00 (reference), 1.06 (0.98, 1.15), 1.23 (1.14, 1.33), and 1.21 (1.06, 1.39), respectively, for CAD. Associations were largely attenuated when we further controlled for biennially updated hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and body mass index.

Conclusions: Frequent fried-food consumption was significantly associated with risk of incident T2D and moderately with incident CAD, and these associations were largely mediated by body weight and comorbid hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Cooking*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology