Washington: Researchers at Imperial College London suggest that fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food.
Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy ‘LDL’ cholesterol in the blood. It has previously been proved that statins are highly effective in lowering a person’s heart attack risk.
Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculated that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.
“Statins don`t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It`s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we`ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it,” Francis, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, and the senior author of the study, said.
“It`s ironic that people are free to take as many unhealthy condiments in fast food outlets as they like, but statins, which are beneficial to heart health, have to be prescribed,” he added.
Everybody knows that fast food is bad for you, but people continue to eat it because it tastes good. We’re genetically programmed to prefer high-calorie foods, and sadly fast food chains will continue to sell unhealthy foods because it earns them a living.
It makes sense to make risk-reducing supplements available just as easily as the unhealthy condiments that are provided free of charge. It would cost less than 5 pence per customer – not much different to a sachet of ketchup.