To get reliable figures, researchers from the University Medical Centre in Utrecht studied 20,853 who were overweight or obese. They compared two separate types, people who regularly had fish, chicken, wine, raw vegetables and fruit, and those that lived on a diet with regular intake of fast food, including chips and snacks .
The results found that not only did those in the fast food group have an increased risk of diabetes but one that was 70% higher. The researchers also found that the amount of fast food also made a difference as those that had the highest intake of fast food had an increase in risk of 114% compared with those in the study that had the lowest intake.
Fast food is characterised by a number of negative factors for health and is typically energy dense and high in calories, fat and carbohydrate. Whilst having a lot of calories, these foods are often nutritionally lacking, particularly the likes of crisps and chips, and have little fibre or essential vitamins and minerals.
Benedict Jephcote, editor of Diabetes.co.uk, stated, "The increase in risk of 70% is significantly higher than studies that have looked at one particular food group, such as sugary soft drinks or red meat.
"The fact that higher amounts of processed fast food could more than double the risk of type 2 diabetes should be sending a clear message to decision makers in the UK. Only last month did the Minister for High Streets, Brandon Lewis MP, state that fast food restaurants were 'massively important' for town centres."
The study is part of the EPIC-NL study which stands for the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition for the Netherlands.