A recent study has identified the relation between eating out and the risk of rising blood pressure.

Researchers at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) showed for the first time that the habit of eating out can be associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. The latest study points to lifestyle factors that can affect an individual's health.

The study suggests that people should be aware of the importance of the calorie and salt content in food, either at home or elsewhere, then make a healthy choice. Eating out, the study shows, is linked to high calorie and sodium intake, which can cause hypertension.

Tazeen Jafar, a professor at Duke-NUS, who supervised and designed the study, says that the study included surveying more than 500 young adults between 18 and 40 years old. All the participants were from Singapore. The study collected data such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, eating out habits, physical activities and more.

The researchers found that pre-hypertension was present in 27.4 percent of all the participants. The survey also found that 38 percent of the participants ate 12 meals away from their home per week. The research also found that pre-hypertension was present in 49 percent of male subjects and 9 percent of female subjects.

Individuals who had hypertension or pre-hypertension were more likely to eat out every week. These participants also had a higher BMI and less physical activity.

Previous studies related to hypertension have been conducted mainly in the U.S. and Japan, but very few studies have been conducted in Southeast Asia.

"Our research plugs that gap and highlights lifestyle factors associated with pre-hypertension and hypertension that are potentially modifiable, and would be applicable to young adults globally, especially those of Asian descent," said Jafar.

The study is important since many young adults are inclined to consume many meals per week away from their homes. Such a lifestyle can lead to hypertension, which is also responsible for other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Healthcare professionals and clinicians should advise young adults about the consumption of food away from home and its health implications.

About one in three American adults, or about 70 million Americans, suffer from hypertension. The latest study will help individuals understand the need for a healthy lifestyle.

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