People who live in neighbourhoods with numerous fast food outlets are more likely to have a stroke, a new study has found.
Large numbers of fast food restaurants in an area can push up the stroke risk by up to 13 per cent, according to the New Scientist study of one Texas city.
However, this doesn't imply mean that their burgers, French fries and fried chicken cause stroke, says Lewis Morgenstern, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who presented the study at the International Stroke Conference in San Diego, California.
Rather, fast food could be an indicator for other factors that lead to poor health, such as lack of exercise or poor air quality.
To reach the conclusion, the research team recorded all 1,247 strokes that occurred in Nueces County, Texas between 2000 and mid-2003.
His team split the city into 64 neighbourhoods with roughly the same population, based on census data.
From analysis, researchers found that people living in neighbourhoods with an average of 33 fast food restaurants suffered 13 percent more strokes than people who lived near just 12 fast food joints.
Each additional McDonalds, Burger King or Taco Bell upped the risk of stroke by about 1 percent.