Eating fast food from restaurants is associated with lower diet quality and higher body weight in children and young adults and is also a major risk factor for heart disease, according to the researchers.
“The trend for eating commercially prepared meals in restaurants or as take-out in the US has increased significantly over the last 50 years,” said Geng Zong from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
People who ate two homemade meals each day, or about 11-14 meals a week, had 13 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to people who ate less than six homemade meals a week.
The study included nearly 58,000 women and more than 41,000 men up to 36 years from 1986-2012. None of the participants had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study.
The researchers demonstrated that eating homemade meals was associated with less weight gain over eight years in these middle-aged and older health professionals. Overweight and obesity are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions recently in 2015.