Hypertension is the leading cause of death associated with cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that even eating out just once a week could increase the risk of suffering from high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that young adults with pre-hypertension are at higher risk of hypertension. Eating meals away from home is associated with higher calorie intake, higher saturated fat and salt intake, which are the causes of hypertension.
A research team at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, surveyed 501 university-going young adults aged 18 to 40 years to study the behavior associated with hypertension in a young adult population in South East Asia.
The study found that 27.4 percent of the total population suffered from pre-hypertension, and 38 percent ate more than 12 meals away from home per week. Pre-hypertension was much more prevalent in men (49 percent) than in women (9 percent).
"Our research highlights lifestyle factors associated with pre-hypertension and hypertension that are potentially modifiable, and would be applicable to young adults globally, especially those of Asian descent," said lead researcher professor Tazeen Jafar from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.
The researchers said that eating just one extra meal away from home raised the chances of pre-hypertension by six percent.
The findings of the study showed that those who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were more likely to eat more meals away from home per week, have higher BMI, reduced physical activity and smokers.