Fast-Food Joints Linked To Diabetes Risk
The presence of fast-food restaurants in a neighborhood might raise residents’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s according to a recent study that linked the availability of fast food in different residential areas to higher rates of type 2 diabetes in those locations.
In a first-of-its-kind national study, researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine analyzed data from more than 4 million U.S. veterans who lived in four distinct types of neighborhoods: high-density urban, low-density urban, suburban, and rural. They also tracked the health status of all the participants for an average of about five-and-a-half years.
The investigators found that the availability of fast-food restaurants (in comparison to all restaurants) was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in all types of communities. The availability of supermarkets was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in suburban and rural communities.
“The more we learn about the relationship between the food environment and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, the more policymakers can act by improving the mix of healthy food options sold in restaurants and food outlets, or by creating better zoning laws that promote optimal food options for residents,” says the study’s senior author. (JAMA Network Open, October 29, 2021)
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