Outdoor Fast-Food Ads Make People Fat
In a recent study, researchers noted a “modest but clinically meaningful increased likelihood of obesity” in people residing in districts with lots of signs and billboards on outdoor foods or fast food compare to areas without these advertisements.
Previous studies showed the prevalence of fast-food ads in low-income, minority areas and the impact of marketing fast foods. Since obesity has been a pressing health problem, Dr. Lenard Lesser who conducted the study wanted to find out the contributory factors leading to eating too much fast foods or processed foods.
The study examined 200 census districts from a crowded population area in Los Angeles and New Orleans with a mix of high-and-low income people. The information on the fast-food ads was analyzed as well. The gathered information on the fast foods was then compared with the health of more than 2500 residents of the areas under study using a phone survey. The researchers also asked about the weight, BMI (body-mass index) and soda intake of the participants ranging from 18 to 98 years old.
The findings showed a high risk of obesity in the areas with the most ads on fast foods. The researcher explained by an example of a census tract consisting of 5,000 adults, citing that if 30% of signs and billboards were related to food, they expect to find an additional 100 to 150 obese people versus a census tract without any ads on fast foods. However, the researchers would like to conduct more studies in other locations and if confirmed, a policy on reducing the amount of food advertisements may be important.
HealthDay News . Outdoor Fast-Food Ads Linked to Obesity, Study Suggests. http://www.everydayhealth.com/publicsite/news/view.aspx?id=673071.