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Want to lose weight? Move closer to a grocery store

Photo courtesy of Flickr / mapper-montag

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

A study conducted by UB researchers suggests that girls living within walking distance of a supermarket have healthier body mass indices (BMI) than girls living near convenience stores and restaurants.

The results of the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine show that proximity to food sources affects obesity levels in girls—but not as you might expect. While obesity levels were higher for girls living a quarter-mile from a convenience store, girls living within a mile from supermarkets were much less likely to be overweight or obese.

Why the disparity? Here’s what researchers think:

“It was hypothesized that food stores carrying nutritious foods (e.g., produce stores/farmer’s markets, small grocery stores, specialty stores, supermarkets) would be associated with a lower risk of obesity and a favorable change in BMI, whereas food stores that sell unhealthy food items (e.g., convenience stores, drug stores, fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, specific food service venues, and supercenters) would be associated with a greater risk of obesity and an increase in BMI over time.”

The availability of fruits and vegetables appears to be directly connected to healthier diets, and lower BMIs for the female subjects, who were monitored over a three-year period from approximately age 6.

TAGGED: bmi, fruits, grocery stores, produce, supermarkets, ub, vegetables

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