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Study: Exposure To Fast Food Restaurants Can Lead To Obesity

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File photo of an overweight person.  (Credit: Thinkstock)

File photo of an overweight person. (Credit: Thinkstock)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a recent study, exposure to fast food restaurants can lead to obesity; and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2010, adults in the US consumed an average of 11.3 percent of their total daily calories from fast food.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK found that consumption of food outside the how has risen 29 percent over the last 10 years; and say this could be contributing to the rising numbers of individuals who are overweight or obese.

The team of researchers examined data on how exposure to fast food restaurants were linked to eating fast food, body mass index, and a person’s chance of being overweight.

Researchers compared data collected from a previous study in which 5,442 participants were adults between the ages of 29 and 62 who lived in Cambridge in 2011. All the participants worked outside of their home.

Several factors can contribute to obesity, such as age, sex, income, education, car ownership, energy intake, smoking, and physical activity.

The study concluded that the participants were exposed to 48 percent more fast food restaurants while at work then while at home, and 32 fast food restaurants was the average a person was exposed to.

They found that the group most exposed was twice as likely to be obese.

The researchers said that this could not be a definite link between obesity and environment. They used a 1-mile radius to represent a neighborhood but that can vary from person to person.

They also noted that fast food can be purchased at cafeterias at work and did not control for that.

The study was published on bmj.com.

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