Improper diet, and with it being overweight, are serious factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. According to scientists, our eating habits are influenced by restaurants and shops that are nearby, and this is worth knowing about.
In their study, scientists from New York University mention that the relationship between food infrastructure and diabetes risk has been assessed in the past, but this research study used a large sample of participants with a large geographical coverage for the first time.
Scientists analyzed data from 4.1 million veterans who did not have diabetes between 2008 and 2016. Over the next five years, 13.2% developed this disease, mostly older people with low income, often with disabilities. The highest prevalence of diabetes was found among residents of densely populated urban areas, and the lowest in the suburbs and rural areas.
Then the experts examined the availability of fast food restaurants and supermarkets within walking distance near the participants’ place of residence. Scientists estimate that a 10% increase in the number of fast food restaurants in urban areas was associated with a 1% increase in diabetes risk, and a 2% increase in rural and suburban areas. At the same time, the presence of a nearby supermarket with a wide selection of products, on the contrary, reduced this risk.
According to the authors of the study, this connection is quite natural: if there is no restaurant with a healthier cuisine nearby, and the supermarket is far away, a person is more likely to go to lunch at a fast food establishment.
“Our results show that restricting fast food placement can be an effective measure to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the population,” the researchers said.