Instant noodle consumption linked to heart risk in women

Women who consume instant noodles frequently were found to be more likely to have metabolic syndrome—the group of risk factors, including obesity and high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes—according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers and colleagues.

The researchers studied a group of 10,711 adults in South Korea, where instant noodle consumption is the highest in the world. They observed two distinct dietary patterns among the subjects, one a more traditional diet and one high in meat and processed food, including instant noodles. Although neither overall dietary pattern was associated with metabolic syndrome, there was a link between metabolic syndrome and instant noodle consumption, independent of any other dietary factors. Women—though not men—who ate instant noodles at least twice a week showed a 68% higher risk of metabolic syndrome.

Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the study, discouraged frequent consumption of instant noodles in an August 20, 2014 New York Times article. “Once or twice a month is not a problem. But a few times a week really is.”

Read study abstract: Instant Noodle Intake and Dietary Patterns Are Associated with Distinct Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Korea

Read New York Times article: Instant Noodles Tied to Heart Risk