Study: Those who live near fast food restaurants are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes
Junk food is bad for your health, and the regular consumption of fast food is often linked to problems like obesity. According to a U.K. study, simply living near a fast food restaurant can even increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The study, which involved a collaboration between researchers from the Healthy High-Density Cities Lab at the University of Hong Kong and Oxford University, was published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health. It is also the largest study concerning Type 2 diabetes and exposure to fast food chains.
Fast food chains and diabetes risk
The researchers who conducted the study are lobbying for a better public health model so individuals who live in cities full of fast food chains can become healthier. The researchers also believe that the implementation of health interventions can help address the nutritional imbalances caused by an individual’s proximity to fast food restaurants.
The team of scientists acknowledged that while the study only identified a link between fast food proximity and Type 2 diabetes risk, the findings verify earlier studies which indicate that residing near fast food chains is a risk factor for both obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
For the study, researchers evaluated 350,000 men and women from all over the U.K. and their proximities to fast food restaurants.
The research team discovered that in certain streets throughout the U.K., individuals had limited access to healthier food options. Study findings showed that people who resided in the densest cluster of fast food restaurants had an 11 percent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes compared to individuals who lived in a street that is at least one kilometer (km) away from fast food chains.
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