Surprise: junk food isn’t the main factor behind obesity according to the findings of a study recently published in the Obesity Science and Practice journal.
The obesity epidemic taking over America is the talk of the town these days. While it is a real problem that heavily impacts health and leads to a wide array of complications, it remains unclear what the driving factors are or how it could efficiently be treated.
Of course, a healthy lifestyle and healthy dietary choices play their part in keeping obesity at bay. However, it seems like indulging in junk food like chips, hamburgers, sugary drinks, candies and others isn’t quite the root of the problem.
According to the study findings, in 95 percent of the cases that have been reviewed the research team didn’t find any correlation between junk food intake and unhealthy BMIs. The data for this study was retrieved from national medical records and targeted specifically the period between 2007 and 2008.
Dietary surveys indicated that throughout this timeframe both people who were obese, as well as those who were at a healthy weight consumed on average the same amount of junk food. Thus, researchers with the Cornell University determined that there is no correlation between junk food intake and unhealthy BMI.
Surprise: junk food isn’t the main factor behind obesity and this finding comes to overturn a growing body of scientific literature pinpoint the opposite. The authors of the study don’t encourage the consumption of junk food. However:
“These are foods that are clearly bad for you, and if you eat too much of them, they will make you fat, but it doesn’t appear to be the main driver that is making people overweight and obese”,
stated David Just, author of the study and co-director with the Cornell University Center for Behavioral Economics.
In addition to other factors junk food may contribute to the uptick in the obesity trend. Nonetheless, solely targeting junk food as the main culprit is ineffective. More effort should be invested in finding the underlying causes and less in pointing to just junk food consumption.
According to Just, more emphasis should be placed on sustained physical activity and exercise, as well as widespread availability of healthy food such as fruit and vegetables and at reasonable purchasing prices.
Altogether, a nationwide policy that could combat obesity should include a synergistic approach rather than simply targeting junk food and junk food availability.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia
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