Rise in fast food restaurants linked to increase in diabetes

An increasing number of studies suggest that there is a link between a neighborhood’s built environment and the risk that its residents will develop chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

A new US study by researchers from the Grossman School of Medicine, State University of New York, and published in jama network open, argues that living in a neighborhood with more junk food restaurants, regardless of region in the United States, has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.

The findings also indicate that having access to more grocery stores may help protect against the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in suburban and rural areas.

The study in question is based on data involving more than 4 million US veterans; The researchers also matched junk food restaurants and grocery stores in relation to other places to find food. Experts say this will be the first step to examine the relationship between the four different types of neighborhoods (densely built, poorly built, suburban and rural), and that it will be hyperlocal and at scale across the United States. .

“Most of the work examining the built food environment and its relationship to chronic disease is scant in scope, or has been done in specific locations,” says researcher Rania Kanchi, from the Department of Population Health at the university. Langone from New York State, and lead author of the study. “Our study is national in scope and has enabled us to identify the types of communities in which people live, characterize their food environment, and observe what happens to them over time. The size made it possible to establish geographic generalities that other studies were unable to accomplish.”

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multi year study

The veterans were followed for five and a half years. During this period, 13.2% of the group had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Men developed the disease more often than women (13.6 vs 8.2%). Black non-Hispanic adults are also at higher risk (16.9%) than non-Hispanic whites (12.9%), non-white Asians and Hispanics (12.8%), Pacific Islanders (15%) and First Nations peoples. People including Alaska Natives (14.2%).

In addition, 14.3% of elderly people living in densely populated urban areas developed type 2 diabetes, while the proportion was lowest among those living in suburbs and small cities (12.6%).

The researchers concluded that the impact of the food environment on the incidence of type 2 diabetes varies with the urban density of communities, but does not change according to different regions of the United States.

The more we learn about the relationship between the food environment and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, the more policymakers can take action by improving the availability of healthy food options sold in restaurants and outlets, or by enacting better zoning laws. who promote. Optimal food choices for residents,” said Lorna Thorpe, professor and one of the study’s lead authors.

According to its authors, one of the limitations of the study is that the work may not be entirely generalizable to populations that are not ex-combatants, as the latter tend to be highly male and suffer more from health problems. as well as financial instability compared to the civilian population. They also have a higher risk of developing disability, obesity and other chronic conditions.

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

Analyst. Amateur problem solver. Wannabe internet expert. Coffee geek. Tv guru. Award-winning communicator. Food nerd.

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