Navigation Links
Review says inexpensive food a key factor in rising obesity
Date:5/22/2014

ATLANTA May 22, 2014A new review summarizes what is known about economic factors tied to the obesity epidemic in the United States and concludes many common beliefs are wrong. The review, authored by Roland Sturm, PhD of RAND Corporation and Ruopeng An, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, notes that paradoxically, rising obesity rates coincided with increases in leisure time, increased fruit and vegetable availability, and increased exercise uptake. The review appears early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and finds at least one factor fueling the obesity epidemic: Americans now have the cheapest food available in history.

Today, two in three Americans are overweight or obese, with rates climbing steadily over the past several decades. Many factors have been suggested as causes: snack food, automobiles, television, fast food, computer use, vending machines, suburban housing developments, and portion size. The authors say forming a coherent picture is a challenge, but is necessary to assess whether the many proposed solutions, from encouraging physical activity and decreasing access to high calorie foods, to building more exercise-friendly environments, increased labeling, or even levying taxes on some foods, can make a difference.

After examining available evidence, the authors say widespread availability of inexpensive food appears to have the strongest link to obesity. They write: "Americans are spending a smaller share of their income (or corresponding amount of effort) on food than any other society in history or anywhere else in the world, yet get more for it." In the 1930s, Americans spent one-quarter of their disposable income on food. By the 1950s, that figure had dropped to one-fifth. The most recent data show the share of disposable income spent on food is now under one-tenth.

The authors review the evidence for other factors, and say the rise of electronic entertainment, increased use of cars, a shift in jobs away from those with physical demands, and increased urbanization also contribute to obesity. But they say the evidence for those associations is less strong, saying: "Examining time trends for which there are data, what jumps out are changes in food availability, in particular the increase in caloric sweeteners and carbohydrates."

The authors also suggest that policy interventions that focus on "positive" approaches or messages, such as increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and increasing physical activity, may not be the optimal approach. They conclude a more promising tactic is an emphasis on reducing calorie consumption, particularly sugar sweetened beverages and salted snacks. They write, for example: "Although increasing fruit and vegetable consumption may be a laudable goal for other health reasons, it is unlikely to be an effective tool for obesity prevention."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Zinc supplementation boosts immune system in children, Cochrane Review finds
2. Book reviews yield gains of major US crops
3. 3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing: Preview issue of groundbreaking peer-reviewed journal now available
4. Scientific review points to supplement users engaging in a pattern of healthy habits
5. Garcinia Cambogia Extract Review Company Garcinia Ex Announces the Launch of its Updated Website
6. Aspartame passes stiff review by European Food Safety Authority
7. Afterburn Fuel Review Announces the Launch of its New and Informative Website
8. Cranberries have health-promoting properties, new expert review reveals
9. New report reviews science and engineering quality at national security laboratories
10. Review outlines best practice standards for coordinator-based fracture liaison services
11. Study explores effects of review setting on scientific peer review
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 KEY FINDINGS The global ... a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of ... factor for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is ... geography. The stem cell market of the product is ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... ... been a key device for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research ... for generating monodisperse solid particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 19, 2017 , ... Nobilis Therapeutics Announces ... Seeks to Leverage Clinical Data in its Upcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Trial , ... 81 patient clinical trial assessing efficacy of its NBTX-001, a xenon-based therapeutic in the ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 A new report published by ... Forecast, 2014-2022 ," the global market was valued at $6,769 million in 2015, ... 9.6% from 2016 to 2022. ... Allied Market Research Logo ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140911/647229) The ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... Mass. , April 19, 2017   ... results from the multi-center Procalcitonin MOnitoring SEpsis (MOSES) ... print issue of Critical Care Medicine . ... Mortality in Severe Sepsis Patients: Results From the ... use of the B·R·A·H·M·S PCT (procalcitonin) assay to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: