Frequent consumption of instant noodles has been found positively associated with obesity and cardiometabolic syndrome in South Korea which has the world's highest per capita consumption of "ramyeon" in Korean.
Ramyeon raises blood sugar, blood pressure and the chance of artery hardening and heart attack due to its high fat, sodium, sugar and carbohydrate content. And those who regularly eat ramyeon three or more times a week are 2.6 times more susceptible to cardiovascular metabolic disease than those who eat once or less frequently.
"Our results suggest that frequent consumption of instant noodles may be associated with increased cardiometabolic risk factors," South Korea's medical research team led by Oh Bum-jo of SNU Boramae Medical Center said in a paper published by the Nutrition Research and Practice, a science journal.
Ramyeon is popular worldwide despite statistical analysis showing a positive association between the frequency of consumption and plasma triglyceride levels, diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose levels in all subjects.
In a survey of 3,397 college students, Oh's team found that 30.9 percent consumed ramyeon less than twice a week. College students consumed ramyeon more frequently than adults because of the convenience of preparing them on school premises.
"We found that frequent consumption of instant noodles may be associated with increased cardiometabolic risk factors among apparently healthy college students," the paper said. "It is necessary to encourage reduced consumption of instant noodles but there is also a need to educate individuals and for the food industry to improve the nutritional quality of instant noodles or develop healthy instant noodles."
The paper said women are more likely to contract hypertriglyceridemia than men as women's neutral fat level stands at 6.0 compared with men's 2.1. In female students, it said diastolic blood pressure was also higher among more frequent ramyeon consumers.
Overconsumption of instant noodles has received special attention, owing to its association with obesity and cardiometabolic syndrome among adults in South Korea.
The high-calorie content and the high concentration of refined carbohydrates, fats, and sodium in instant noodles, contribute to an increased risk of metabolic disease, the paper said.
Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org
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