It should come as no surprise that regularly having fried food take out has an impact on health but, despite this, some us still can’t help feeding the fast food habit.

Women, looking to start a family, now have another important reason to curb or kick the fast food lifestyle as researchers have linked regular fried foods with nearly a doubling in risk of developing gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

The finding comes from a review, carried out by Harvard University, Boston, of questionnaires from the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II). The review involved 15,027 nurses who had pregnancies between 1991 and 2001. The study involved detailed analysis of food questionnaires that were filled in every 4 years, including in 1991 and 2001.

They were asked ‘How often do you eat fried food away from home (e.g. French fries, fried chicken, fried fish)?’ and ‘How often do you eat food that is fried at home (exclude “Pam”-type spray)?’ The answers that could be given were: less than once a week, 1 to 3 times a week, 4 to 6 times a week and daily. The results showed that participants who had fried food more than 7 times a week had 2.2 times higher risk of developing pregnancy compared with women who had fried foods less than once a week.

Even when adjustments for BMI were made, the risks remained high, with daily fried food eaters having a 1.9 times higher risk of GDM than the participants that had fried food less than once a week. When the researchers widened the pool of participants to those who had fried food 4 or more times a weak, the risk was 1.5 times higher than infrequent fried food eaters, including the adjustment for BMI.

The researchers found that whilst eating fried foods away from home was strongly associated with gestational diabetes, cooking fried foods at home was not significantly associated with increased diabetes risk.