Eating out joints contribute to obesity

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Washington, Jan 10: The number of fast food restaurants in your area may be responsible for the bulge around your waist.

Availability of more fast food restaurants can contribute to higher levels of obesity, a study shows. Researchers have found that a higher total restaurant density is significantly associated with lower weight status.

However, once the restaurants are split into components-- fast food and full service-- a higher full-service restaurant density is significantly associated with lower weight status while, in contrast, a higher fast-food density is associated with higher weight status, Science Daily reported.

Individuals residing in areas with a high density of total and full-service restaurants exhibit lower weight status, possibly indicating that these areas possess a more advantageous eating environment, says Neil Mehta of Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania and Virginia W. Chang of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Those who reside in areas possessing a higher relative number of fast-food to full-service restaurants have a higher weight status. Hence, the relative availability of alternative types of away-from-home eating establishments may most accurately capture the set of food choices available to individuals and may be salient in determining eating behaviors and ultimately weight status, they added.

They concluded that fast-food restaurants are a contributor to obesogenic environments.


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