People whose diets are heavy on fried and sugary drinks like sweet tea and soda were more likely to suffer a stroke, a new study has revealed. It’s the first big look at diet and strokes, and researchers say it might help explain why blacks in the Southeast, the nation’s “stroke belt” suffer more of them.
Blacks were five times more likely than whites to have the Southern dietary pattern linked with the highest stroke risk. And blacks and whites who live in the South were more likely to eat this way than people in other parts of the country were. Diet might explain as much as two-thirds of the excess stroke risk seen in blacks versus whites, researchers concluded.
“We’re talking about fried foods, French fries, hamburgers, processed meats, hot dogs, bacon, ham, liver, gizzards and sugary drinks,” said the study’s leader, Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
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