Obesity higher near outdoor food ads

1 February 2013

Outdoor advertisements for fast food could promote obesity according to new research.

Research by UCLA and published in the BMC Public Health journal found a link between outdoor adverts and an inclination to be overweight.

“Previous research has found that fast food ads are more prevalent in low-income, minority areas, and laboratory studies have shown that marketing gets people to eat more," said Dr Lenard Lesser, a research physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute in California.

"This is one of the first studies to suggest an association between outdoor advertising and obesity."

The researched matched data from a previous study about the location on advertising and alcohol consumption in Los Angeles and New Orleans with telephone-based surveys of nearly 2,600 people between 18 and 98.

It identified a clear correlation between a higher percentage of outdoor ads for fast food and a higher proportion of obesity in the local population.

Although the link was identified as “modest” it is “clinically meaningful” and researchers stressed the importance of more investigation.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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