Obesity not related to how close you live to fast food restaurants or gyms. Heres why – Hindustan Times


Posted: May 21, 2020 at 11:44 pm

A new study from Lund University in Sweden has shown there is no correlation between obesity and how close you live to fast food restaurants or gyms.

Studies from other countries have previously indicated that these factors may be important in adult obesity.

The areas where we live are known to be important for our health. For example, obesity is more prevalent in deprived neighbourhoods. Deprived neighbourhoods are typically defined by low socio-economic levels, e.g., low average income and high unemployment rates.

The reason why obesity is more prevalent in such neighbourhoods have been a topic of interest among both researchers and policy makers for a long time, and commercial facilities, like fast food outlets and physical activity facilities, have attracted much research attention and debate.

However, our large-scale study in Sweden, using longitudinal national registry data of more than 1,5 million adults, did not find a statistically significant association between these two types of facilities and obesity, said Kenta Okuyama, PhD student at Center for Primary Health Care Research at Lund University.

The researchers say it is unlikely that the availability of fast food outlets or lack of gyms are causes of obesity in Swedish adults.

Although reducing fast food outlets or introducing physical activity facilities might in theory promote healthy eating and exercise, it may not be very effective in all countries and regions, because the contexts vary by its culture and lifestyle that may affect how often people utilize these facilities in their daily lives, said Kenta Okuyama.

The study did show a correlation between neighbourhood deprivation and obesity.

The next goal is to investigate further what other factors can possibly impact the risk of obesity in Sweden, added Kenta Okuyama.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed. )

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Obesity not related to how close you live to fast food restaurants or gyms. Heres why - Hindustan Times

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