A Swedish-based study conducted by Lund University published its findings contradictory to past research on obesity and food environments.
According to the Swedish research team, they found no correlation between obesity and the proximity of food environments, like fast-food restaurants, or even physical activity facilities. The findings appeared in the International Journal of Obesity.
Their study analyzed the national registry data of over 1.5 million adults across Sweden between 2005 to 2015. The most prevalent gender and age group were male and in early adulthood.
Throughout their research, the primary objective aimed at examining “the longitudinal association between availability of fast-food outlets and physical activity facilities and the risk of obesity among adults,” the findings say.
As the results indicate, no meaningful correlations were found between neighborhood fast-food restaurants, gyms and obesity of either gender.
“Availability of fast-food outlets and lack of physical activity facilities appear unlikely to cause obesity in Swedish adults,” the co-authors wrote in the findings. “Other potentially modifiable environmental factors within specific social and cultural settings that may influence obesity risk should be examined in future studies.”
These new findings are contradictory to other studies released by researchers from other countries, including one US-based study having determined that densities of fast-food establishments and storefronts were positively associated with obesity.