THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Increased access to fast
food restaurants is associated with higher calorie intake among
black Americans in the southeastern United States, a new study
Researchers analyzed data from 4,740 participants in the African
American Jackson Heart Study. Researchers didn't find any
consistent associations between the availability of fast food
restaurants and body-mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.
However, the study authors did find that living within 5 miles
of fast food restaurants was associated with higher calorie intake
among women and men younger than age 55, even after adjustments
were made for individual socioeconomic status. Specifically, men
consumed 138 more calories and women consumed 58 more calories.
"Our results suggested that, especially among younger adults who are more likely to consume fast food, the availability of fast food restaurants around their homes is associated with energy intake," the researchers wrote.
"Given the importance of energy intake to weight and associated disorders, the role of environmental factors such as fast food restaurant availability deserves additional scrutiny," they added.
The study appears online May 5 in the
American Journal of Public Health.
The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how to make
healthier food choices.