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Anorak | New study links fast food to fat

New study links fast food to fat

by | 11th, September 2017

Can it proven that fast food makes you fat? Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) examined 1,500 state primary school pupils aged four to 11, looking at their postal addresses and weight. Turns out that the kids living closer to fast food outlets – within around half a mile – were more likely than their peers to gain weight during the primary school years.

This is, of course, all about protecting children from being fat – a physical state that once marked you as jolly but now casts you as a mentally negligible victim.

So can it proven that fast food makes you fat and is a danger to children’s health? Or is this more about correlation than causation? Poorer people eat the most fast food. Relocate the eateries, or make them sell just salads and watch the fatties slim down. Or better yet, turn the fried chicken shacks into gyms and therapy suites.

And what of the business angle? If you’re going to open a fast food franchise or fish and chip restaurant, you’ll do best locating where poorer people live and the rents are cheaper. Unsurprisingly, the study noted a higher density of fast food outlets – i.e. cheap food – in poorer areas.

In July, Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research counted 56,638 takeaways in England. And it too noted that fast food shops are more prevalent in England’s poorest areas.

NHS employee Matthew Pearce, who led the research, tells media: “We know from national data that the number of children classified as obese doubles between the first and last year of primary school. Understanding the reasons for this is important to protect the future health of children. Obesity is driven by many complex factors. Our study adds to existing evidence that the neighbourhood environment plays an important role in the development of obesity.”

“While ultimately it is down to individuals on how they choose to live, it is widely accepted that we live in environments that make managing our weight increasingly difficult,” Pearce adds. “We therefore need national and local policymakers to take decisions that support more favourable conditions that enable people to eat healthier and become more physically active.”

So what’s the plan, then? Put simply: tell the idiots how to live. Much harder to implement is the other plan: let’s get richer.

Spotter:  Journal of Public Health.

 



Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: News, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink