A study, published last week by the Journal of Nutrition, found that regular consumption of instant noodles increases the risk for cardiometabolic syndrome â€“ particularly in women.
Although ramen is known as token fare among students, the study focused on South Korea, rather than college campuses. The country has more instant-noodle consumers per capita than any other nation.
â€œWhile instant noodle intake is greater in Asian communities, the association between instant noodle consumption and metabolic syndrome has not been widely studied,â€ said Dr. Hyun Joon Shin, the lead investigator on the study, in a press release. â€œI decided to investigate in order to uncover more distinct connections.â€
Researchers used information from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV 2007-2009 to conduct the study, analyzing the data of 10,711 adults between the ages of 19 and 64. Over 54 percent were women.
They concluded that eating the noodles two or more times a week increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. Women were found to be particularly vulnerable, with Dr. Shin citing biological differences such as hormones and metabolism.
A chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in packaging the noodles, also poses a particular threat to women. BPA interferes with the hormone estrogen as it sends messages throughout the body.
The study was conducted with the Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas, Texas.