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  • Fast food causes weight gain in girls


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:15 am Email this article
    "Adolescent girls who eat quick-service food twice a week or more are likely to increase their relative BMI over time," according to a study from researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.

    Girls who eat fast-food twice a week or more are more likely to gain weight compared to girls who eat it once a week or less.

    1.6 POUNDS EXTRA FOR EACH ADDITIONAL FAST-FOOD MEAL PER WEEK

    On average, a increase of one fast-food meal per week was associated with a weight gain of 1.6 pounds over a three-year period.

    FAST FOOD MEANS MORE CALORIES

    A previous study found women who ate fast-food ate more calories than those who did not.

    The study involved 101 girls between the ages of 8- and 12-years-old at baseline, and 11- and 19-years-old at follow-up who were part of the longitudinal study of growth and development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Participants kept 7-day dietary records at two points in time. The records included the place and time for all foods consumed.

    They recorded how often participants ate food away from home, calculated the percent of total energy derived from food away from home, and classified foods as quick-service food, coffee-shop food, or restaurant food.

    HIGHER CALORIE DENSITY, LARGER PORTIONS

    The reason for this may be the calorie density of food purchased away from home, and the large portion sizes according to the authors of the study.

    HALF OF FOOD DOLLARS SPENT ON FOOD AWAY FROM HOME

    In 1998 American spent nearly half of their food dollars on food purchased away from home, and in 1994, 56 percent of Americans ate out at restaurants at least once a day.

    REFERENCE

    Thompson O, Ballew C, Resnicow K, Must A, Bandini L, Cyr H, Dietz W. Food purchased away from home as a predictor of change in BMI z-score among girls. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Feb, 28(2):282-89.

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