It's no secret that additive-laden fast food is not your healthiest option for a nutritious meal.
But a new study shows that higher rates of diabetes and obesity occur in neighborhoods where fast-food restaurants and convenience stores greatly outnumber grocery stores and produce vendors. The study, which came from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, showed this was the trend regardless of the residents' income, race, or ethnicity, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
There is some debate whether this proves adverse health outcomes are not only the result of personal choice, that we're affected by our environment too. Others suggest this simply shows that living near fast food restaurants enables bad decision making.
The study found that the average California adult lives near four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as grocery stores and produce vendors.
The article states that the study found obesity rates to be 20% higher in neighborhoods with five or more times as many fast-food outlets as produce vendors, compared with those with three or fewer. Diabetes rates were 23% higher.
The study recommended requiring fast-food restaurants to post calorie and fat content on menu boards, a move that the California Restaurant Association disagrees with.
In New York CIty, courts ruled in favor of requiring chain restaurants to post nutrition information on menu boards. While some outlets, such as Starbucks, have already started to comply, other restaurant owners and the New York State Restaurant Association have vowed to fight the new rule. Restaurants were to begin posting calorie information April 25, and fines will be introduced June 6 against noncompliers.
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