Proximity to Fast-Food Outlets Linked to Obesity, Diabetes

Published By : 12 Nov 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

The number of fast-food outlets in proximity of people’s homes can be linked to obesity and diabetes rates in cities – according to a new study conducted in the U.K.

The study was conducted on 10,000 people in the United Kingdom and conclusions based on the study found that in socially-deprived and non-white or multi-ethnic neighborhoods, there were twice as many fast food joints within just 500 meters. These alarming numbers are found to have critical consequences on public health and it has forced authorities to reconsider and limit the number of outlets in deprived neighborhoods, says Professor Kamlesh Khunti, lead researcher from the University of Leicester.

The scientists calculated that every two additional fast-food joints per locality expectedly led to the addition of one case of diabetes. This finding assumed a causal relationship between diabetes and number of fast-food outlets.

Khunti shows how the numbers differ depending on demographics such as ethnicity. Mixed-ethnicity regions had over twice the number of fast-food joints compared to white European neighborhoods and this number was associated with the high risk of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity. Professor Khunti said that in deprived neighborhoods where a greater number of black and minority ethnic population stayed, the number of fast-food joints was much higher. This in turn was linked to the prevalence of diabetes and obesity, the professor said.

Dr Patrice Carter, co-author of the study and part of the team from the University of Leicester, says that the findings of the study are not entirely surprising and that the association between obesity as well as type 2 diabetes and proximity of fast-food outlets is understood.
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