We should not only be concerned about advertising sweets: living in an area where there are fast food restaurants is already bad for you

We should not only be concerned about the advertising of sweets: living in an area where there are fast food restaurants is already bad for you

Following the announcement that the Government will ban the advertising of sweets and caloric drinks for children , many are those who have protested. However, we often forget how sensitive we are to our surroundings. Even when we are supposedly rational adults.

So a new nationwide study led by researchers from NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine published in JAMA Network Open suggests that living in neighborhoods with greater availability of fast food outlets in all regions of the United States is associated with a later increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes .

The importance of the environment

The study, which stands out for its great geographic breadth, uses data from a cohort of more than 4 million people who live in 98 percent of the census tracts across the country. It counted fast food restaurants and supermarkets in relation to other food outlets , and is the first, according to the researchers, to examine this relationship in four different types of neighborhoods (high-density urban, low-density urban, suburban and rural). ) both at the hyperlocal level and at the national level.

The study results also indicated that the availability of more supermarkets could protect against the development of type 2 diabetes, especially in suburban and rural neighborhoods .

The individuals were studied for an average of five and a half years. During that time, 13.2 percent of the cohort received a recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Men developed T2D more often than women (13.6 versus 8.2 percent). Non-Hispanic black adults had the highest incidence (16.9 percent), compared to non-Hispanic whites (12.9 percent), non-Hispanic Asians and Hispanics (12.8 percent), Native Hawaiians and the Pacific Islands (15 percent) and Native Americans and Alaska Indians (14.2 percent).

Overall, the team concluded that the effect of the food environment on the incidence of type 2 diabetes varied according to the level of urbanization of the community, but did not vary further according to the region of the country .

The next phase of research will be to better understand the impacts of the built environment on diabetes risk by subgroups. They plan to examine whether relationships between fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and types of communities vary by gender, race / ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.