The UK has the highest levels of obesity in Western Europe with one in four Brits being recognised as clinically obese. But a recent study by Cornell University suggests that fast food is not to blame for our ever increasing waist lines.
Words: Toni Hart, Subeditor: Denisa Rosca
Fast food is everywhere. There were over 8000 fast food restaurants in London in 2012 and that figure has no doubt increased in the three years since. We are always being told that ‘fast food is bad’, ‘it’s not real meat’, and ‘it’s not what you think it is, it’s rat’ – though this one was actually true.
But despite all the warnings, the study carried out by lab coordinators David Just, PhD, and Brian Wansink, PhD, has found that eating fast food has no effect on Body Mass Index in the average adult.
The study shows that it is the overconsumption of calories that leads to weight gain, rather than the types of food we are eating. Dr Just said “diets and health campaigns aimed at reducing and preventing obesity may be off track if they hinge on demonizing specific foods.” He also explained that we need to be looking at the overall diet of a person with obesity and the amount of exercise being done to make any change.
So as long as we exercise regularly and consume fewer calories, there is no need to scrimp on the KFC and give up the Big Macs. No need to feel guilty about that cheeseburger on a hungover Sunday!