A new study from Lund University in Sweden has shown there’s no correlation between obesity and how near you live to fast food restaurants or gyms.
Studies from other countries have up to now indicated that these factors could also be important in adult obesity.
The areas where we are living are known to be important for our health. As an example, obesity is more prevalent in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Disadvantaged neighbourhoods are usually defined by low socio-economic levels, e.g., low average income and high unemployment rates.
The explanation why obesity is more prevalent in such neighbourhoods have been a topic of interest among both researchers and policy makers for a very long time, and commercial facilities, like fast food outlets and physical activity facilities, have attracted much research attention and debate.
“Then again, our large-scale study in Sweden, the usage of longitudinal national registry data of more than 1,5 million adults, did not find a statistically remarkable organization between these two types of facilities and obesity,” said Kenta Okuyama, PhD student at Center for Primary Health Care Research at Lund University.
The researchers say it is unlikely that the availability of fast food outlets or lack of gyms are causes of obesity in Swedish adults.
“Despite the fact that reducing fast food outlets or introducing physical activity facilities might in theory promote healthy eating and exercise, it will not be very effective in all countries and regions, because the contexts differ by its culture and way of life that may have an effect on how regularly people utilize these facilities in their day by day lives,” said Kenta Okuyama.
The study did show a correlation between neighbourhood deprivation and obesity.
“The next goal is to enquire further what other factors can maybe have an effect on the risk of obesity in Sweden,” added Kenta Okuyama.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed. )
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