Would eliminating fast food from the planet end childhood obesity?
It wouldn't, because fast food consumption is only part of poor dietary habits that are encouraged by parents and caregivers, according to a study at the University of North Carolina.
Several studies have attributed the growing rate of fast food consumption as a major risk factor for rise in childhood obesity. However, this study claims that fast food is not the culprit.
The study titled, "The association of fast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity among children: is it the fast food or the remainder of diet?" claims that fast food consumption originates in children's home and is a small factor of pervasive dietary patterns. This pattern includes intake of few vegetables and fruits, high amounts of processed food and artificially sweetened beverages. Also, meals offered at school reinforce these poor dietary habits.
"This is really what is driving children's obesity," said Barry Popkin, PhD, W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, whose team led the study. "Eating fast foods is just one behavior that results from those bad habits. Just because children who eat more fast food are the most likely to become obese does not prove that calories from fast-foods bear the brunt of the blame."
Read more from Science World Report.