The damage that one cheeseburger can do

A single cheeseburger or pizza blowout can alter metabolism, triggering changes linked to fatty liver disease and diabetes, research shows.

While a healthy body can recover from one such meal, regular large helpings of rich, fatty food are likely to cause lasting damage, scientists say.

For the study, 14 lean and healthy men aged 20 to 40 were given either a vanilla-flavoured palm oil drink or plain water.

The palm oil drink contained as much saturated fat as an eight-slice pepperoni pizza or 110g cheeseburger served with a large portion of french fries.

Tests showed that consuming the palm oil immediately increased fat accumulation and reduced sensitivity to insulin.

It also raised triglyceride levels, altered liver function and led to changes in gene activity associated with fatty liver disease.

Glucagon levels were also up, says lead researcher Professor Michael Roden of the