Fast-food shops on your way to work may contribute to obesity

In a new study, researchers found fast-food stores available near residences and commute routes had a strong link with body mass index (BMI), the major index of overweight and obesity.

The research was conducted by a team from Arizona State University.

Previous research has revealed links between the food stores available in residential neighborhoods and residents’ health outcomes, including BMI.

However, few prior studies have also included food stores near workplaces, and none have examined food options along commuter routes.

In the study, the team examined how the number of different types of food stores available near residences, commute routes, and workplaces influences people body weight.

They analyzed data from 710 elementary school employees in New Orleans, Louisiana.

They showed that a greater number of fast-food restaurants near the commute route was associated with higher BMI.

Higher BMI was also linked to a greater number of supermarkets, grocery stores, and fast-food restaurants near residences, while a greater number of full-service restaurants near residences was linked to lower BMI.

The analysis did not find any links between BMI and the food stores available near workplaces.

The author notes that these findings highlight the need to consider multiple environmental factors when examining contributors to BMI.

Future research could explore individuals’ exact commute routes and food-purchasing habits along those routes, as well as looking at health outcomes beyond BMI.

A deeper understanding of these factors could help inform interventions to promote better health outcomes.

The team says in people daily lives, they are exposed to several healthy and unhealthy food choices, which has an impact on BMI.

The availability and variety of fast-food restaurants along the commute create endless opportunities for a quick, cheap, and unhealthy meal, which results in higher BMI.

The lead author of the study is Adriana Dornelles of Arizona State University, U.S.

The study is published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

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