ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — A new study reveals that junk food is not the leading cause of obesity in the United States.

Researchers from Cornell University state that “consumption of soda, candy and fast food is not linked to Body Mass Index for 95 percent of the population.”

Drs. Brian Wansink and David Just of the university’s Food and Brand Lab said there was no significant difference of indulgent junk foods between overweight and healthy weight subjects.

“This means that diets and health campaigns aimed at reducing and preventing obesity may be off track if they hinge on demonizing specific foods,” Just said in a statement. “If we want real change we need to look at the overall diet, and physical activity. Narrowly targeting junk food is not just ineffective, it may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity.”

The researchers conclude clinicians and practitioners should look at a person’s overall consumption of food and physical activity patterns instead of just eliminating junk food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 78 million American adults are obese.

The study was published in Obesity Science & Practice.


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