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RE: [IP] 15 Year Study Shows Strong Link Between Fast Food, Obesity and Insulin Resistance



On 7 Jan 2005 at 10:57, Bob Kerns wrote:

> One thing that bothers me about articles (and often studies) like this is
> that they generally have no clear definition of "fast food".
> Is a McDonald's salad, no dressing, fast food? A grilled chicken sandwich
> with lots of lettuce and tomato from Burger King? What about a bag of
> potato chips eaten at home? Pizza?
> Is it the fast, eat-it-on-the-run, the preparation, the fact that the
> resturants are heartless corporate chains that mistreat the workers, or
> what?
> Any time I see the phrase "fast food" associated with a study, my index of
> suspicion for "junk science" is very high.
> ("Junk science-reporting" is a given!)


I don't believe it is "junk science" if it gets publication in The Lancet.  I 
 don't have the $211 for the yearly subscription, so I only have the synopsis of
articles available.  The introduction does say:

The frequency of obesity has risen at an alarming rate in all age and ethnic 
 groups in the USA.1,2 The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, defined as a
body-
mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater, was 3075% in 1999-2000 compared with 
2279% in 1988-1994, with even higher rates in ethnic minority groups.1 About 
two of every three US adults and four of five African-American women were 
overweight or obese in 1999-2000.1 In children and adolescents, the prevalence 
of being overweight rose by 50% in the past decade to about 15%.2 

The medical and economic outcomes of excessive bodyweight are great, including 
an estimated 300000 excess deaths and at least US$100 billion per year in 
medical expenditures.3-6 One particularly ominous public-health issue is the 
 occurrence of glucose intolerance7 and type 2 diabetes in obese adolescents and
young adults.8 

 Because of its rapid development in genetically stable populations, the obesity
 epidemic can be attributed to environmental factors affecting diet, or physical
 activity level. One potentially important dietary factor is consumption of fast
food, which can be defined as convenience food purchased in self-service or 
 carry-out eating places.9,10 From its origins in the 1950s, fast food has grown
into a dominant dietary pattern, with a current estimate of about 247115 
restaurants in the USA.11 Consumption of fast food by children has risen from 
2% of total energy in the late 1970s to 10% of energy in the 1990s.12 

 Several factors inherent to fast food as it now exists could promote a positive
energy balance11,13 and thereby increase risk for obesity and diabetes, 
 including: excessive portion size, with single large meals often approaching or
exceeding individual daily energy requirement; palatability, emphasising 
primordial taste preferences for sugar, salt, and fat; high energy density;14 
and high glycaemic load. Several dietary factors such as trans-fatty acids15 
and high glycaemic load16 might also enhance risk for diabetes through energy-
independent mechanisms. 

 Surprisingly few studies have investigated the effects of fast-food consumption
on energy balance or bodyweight,17-20 and most of these are of cross-sectional 
design. To our knowledge, no data for fast-food consumption and diabetes-
 related endpoints are available. For these reasons, we aimed to investigate the
association between reported fast-food habits and changes in bodyweight and 
 insulin resistance over a 15-year period in young black and white adults in the
USA. 

====================================

If you want a "clearer" definition, I think you'll have to subscribe to the 
Lancet.

George   :>)
.
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