Maybe Fast Food Isn't to Blame for Obesity After All

Though cities like Los Angeles have established moratoriums on the construction of new fast food residents in an effort to tackle obesity, a new study questions the importance of place-based causes and solutions.
January 20, 2014, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In a new study, researchers from the University of North Carolina led by nutrition professor Barry Popkin have found that even when they are not eating at fast-food restaurants, children who frequent them tend to eat food that would probably make many of them overweight or obese anyway," reports Melissa Healy. "The authors of the latest research combed through a national database of Americans' health and nutrition behaviors and grouped 4,466 American kids--from ages 2 to 18--according to what they ate when they were not eating food purchased at a fast-food restaurant."

"'Our findings suggest that the location where foods are obtained may not be as important as the nutritional quality of the foods consumed,' the authors wrote. They also suggest that 'the effect of public health efforts targeted at fast food restaurants may also be overestimated, such that these efforts may be necessary but not sufficient to reduce child obesity if the remainder of the diet is not addressed.'"

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Published on Thursday, January 16, 2014 in Los Angeles Times
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