New research shows that people who live in areas with more full-service restaurants tend to be thinner.
Those who live in areas with a high ratio of fast-food restaurants tend to be heavier.
So it seems it’s not just about eating out – it’s the way we are eating out.In 1940
- 15% of food dollars were spent at restaurants
- 40% of food dollars spent at restaurants (three-quarters of which were at a fast-food restaurant).
The research (abstract) looked at data from over 714,000 people. The following conclusions were made (emphasis added):
[…]it is the availability of fast-food relative to other away-from-home choices that appears salient for unhealthy weight outcomes. Areas with a high density of full-service restaurants were indicative of a more healthful eating environment, suggesting a need for research into the comparative healthfulness of foods served at different types of restaurants.
Full-service restaurants serve food that is calorie-dense (what kind of chef counts calories?) – but we eat the food differently. Fast-food is served quickly – and eaten quickly – and tends to be highly processed.
Fast-food is all about supply and demand. Those counties that are overrun with fast-food outlets obviously enjoy eating it. So who is to blame? But then who can compete with the colossal and overbearing marketing efforts that assail us daily from the fast-food giants?