Fast food fuelling diabetes epidemic in Asia: Experts

Updated: Jul 09, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: The growing popularity of junk food is fuelling a diabetes boom across Asia, experts have warned.

A study by Australian and Vietnamese scientists found about 11percent of men and 12 percent of women in Vietnam``s Ho Chi Minh City had undiagnosed type-2 diabetes.

Diabetes is caused by high levels of sugar and fat in the diet and inadequate exercise. And it can lead to heart disease, vision loss and kidney failure.

"Dietary patterns have been changing dramatically in Vietnam in recent years, particularly in the cities as they become more Westernised," the BBC quoted Professor Tuan Nguyen of the Sydney-based institute, as saying.

"There are fast food outlets everywhere," he said, adding that similar studies in Thailand reinforced the link.

"Because of that, we feel very confident that we can extrapolate our findings to other parts of South East Asia including Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Laos," he added