A fascinating new study claims people who often pass fast-food outlets on their way to works are at higher risk of becoming obese.Arizona State University researchers, who conducted the study, found similar results in people who live or work close to supermarkets.
Researchers wanted to investigate how people who purchase food daily impacts their chances of gaining a lot of weight. For the study, the team documented the home and work locations of close to 710 people who live in New Orleans, US. That also mapped out all the grocery stores and fast-food restaurants and other dining establishments in the area.
The team found those who have a higher body mass index (BMI) tended to pass by fast-food joints while on their way to work. However, what was also surprising was the team found similar results in people who live close or have access to grocery stores more frequently. Researchers conclude easy access to unhealthy food is a major issue and possibly a big reason why obesity is becoming a growing problem.
“Unfortunately, customers’ preferences are the main problem,” study author Adriana Dornelles, an economics researcher at Arizona State University, told a news portal. Adding, “The trap of the quick-cheap-easy meal has become a norm among Americans."
However, the team also noted most of the participants got less than half an hour of physical activity daily. One drawback of this study is that the team didn't investigate the kinds of foods people were purchasing. However, it does shed new light on how people choose to eat depending on where they are. “Being conscious of the way in which our environment makes it difficult to be healthy, and trying to put ourselves in environments that are health-promoting, whatever and wherever that environment is - is something that we can all take home and learn from,”Tamara Dubowitz, a food policy researcher at RAND Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told a news portal.
The study's findings were originally published in PLoS ONE.