Body mass index (BMI) of a person increases by 0.03% each fast food menu eaten, says a study by American researchers, published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, reported dailymail.co.uk.
The study data also revealed that, between 1999 and 2008, the number of fast-food menus consumed annually by a person globally has increased from 27 to 33 in the period 1998-2008. In the same period, the average body mass index of 25 in developed countries rose from 25.8 to 26.4.
Scientists at the University of California have come to the conclusion that every fast food menu causes a 0.03% increase in body mass index.
A person with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal weight , a BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates that a person is overweight , and a BMI of over 30 is a symptom of obesity.
Between 1999 and 2008 the number of fast food meals the average person ate each year rose from 27 to 33. During the same time, the average BMI in the 25 high income countries studied increased from 25.8 to 26.4
This study is the first to examine the effects of consumption of fast food on obesity and the economic impact of the phenomenon, arguing that governments should take concrete measures to prevent obesity and its long-term consequences – diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“If governments do not take steps to regulate the economy, the market will continue to promote obesity worldwide, with disastrous consequences for public health and economic productivity”, said Roberto De Vogl led the study, from the Department of Public Health Sciences University of California.
The study focuses on developed countries, but its findings are relevant to developing countries, because “virtually all nations have gone through a process of globalization and market regulation – especially in the last three decades”, said Roberto De Vogli.
The largest increases in BMI were recorded in Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, while the lowest recorded increases in countries with stricter market regulations, such as Italy, the Netherlands, Greece and Belgium.
Source: Daily Mail