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Body mass index of low income African-Americans linked to proximity of fast food restaurants
Date:5/16/2013

howed that every additional mile participants' lived from the closest fast food restaurant was associated with a 2.4 percent lower BMI.

"There's something about living close to a fast food restaurant that's associated with a higher BMI," said Reitzel. She said that there may be some behavioral economics involved in the decision to choose fast food over a healthier choice. "Fast food is specifically designed to be affordable, appealing and convenient. People are pressed for time, and they behave in such a way that will cost them the least amount of time to get things done, and this may extend to their food choices."

Reitzel also said that people of lower income may have less access to transportation, so having a high density of fast food restaurants around the home makes eating fast food easier. "This may also be why there were significant associations for density and BMI within 2 miles of the home, which is an easily walkable distance, but not 5 miles of the home." Reitzel said in some neighborhoods, there are fewer roads to travel and people pass by the same fast food restaurants on the way in and out of the neighborhood every day. "Those visual cues may prompt people to choose fast food even when it was not the original intent."


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Contact: Katrina Burton
kburton@mdanderson.org
713-792-8034
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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