It sounds counterintuitive, but a new study suggests that living closer to fast food restaurants may actually reduce your chances for obesity.
The University of Utah discovered that people are less at risk for obesity when there are food options within walking distance, even if those options include convenience stores and fast food restaurants. On the flip side, people living more than a half of a mile from grocery stores or restaurants were more likely to be overweight.
"Having access to a range of food options in your neighborhood affects
both your energy input and output," said professor Cathleen Zick, co-author of the study.
Dinner can easily be the meal of least resistance. And if there's nothing in walking distance, it suddenly feels a lot easier to grab takeout or fast food on the way home.
Zick intends to further study the results from 500,000 residents of Salt Lake City, believing there is likely a connection between body mass index and whether there are retail food options within walking distance.
If she is successful, her work might find plenty of funding from fast food companies eager to prove that more franchises are needed in order to combat obesity.
[Image via Flickr: intangible arts]