An Australian study shows that areas with a higher ratio of fast food outlets to supermarkets and greengrocers have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
The study looked at the number of greengrocers, supermarkets, takeaway shops and alcohol outlets within a 1.6 km road distance from people’s homes. The 1.6 km distance corresponds to a 15-20 minute walk.
The results showed that areas which had at least a three to one ratio of takeaway outlets to supermarkets and greengrocers had much higher rates of type 2 diabetes.
Lead researcher Dr Astell-Burt of the University of Western Sydney stated: “Our lifestyle choices are not made in vacuums, and simply telling people to eat healthily is going to be okay for some who have the means to do that.”
“But for others who live in areas where it is quite difficult to come back from a hard day’s work, to get in the car and go and seek out some healthy food when there’s something more convenient around the corner which is cheaper, albeit less healthy; that’s an issue which we need to address.”
The study appears to back up a similar UK finding, from a study published by researchers from the University of Leicester in 2014, which showed that a greater number of fast food outlets within inner city areas to be associated with higher rates of type 2 diabetes.

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