Many drivers have heard from “concerned” family or friends that they shouldn’t drive everywhere and that sometimes they might want to walk from one place to another because it’s good for them. But a new study from members of the Journal of Urban Health magazine seems to indicate that if you don’t own a car, then you are more likely to visit nearby fast food restaurants, instead of the healthier establishment which are farther away from your home.
Using data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study database about 2,156 adults, the people doing the study analyst links between a person’s weight, the concentration of restaurants in the area and if people owned a car.
As you can imagine, the highest density of both fast food and normal restaurants were in the lower middle socioeconomic status areas, while the very high areas had the lowest density. While on average car owners weighed about 8.5 pounds more than people who didn’t own cars, it seems that non-car owners, who were living in areas with more fast food restaurants weighed a whopping 12 pounds more than non-car owners in areas with less fast food restaurants. More importantly, and addressing the issue in the title of the article, it seems that the same non-car owners who were living around fast food joints weighed more than the car owners from the same area.
“While all residents appear to be affected by the concentration of restaurants, the magnitude of the effect of fast food outlets is much smaller for residents able to travel by car than for individuals without cars,” revealed the leaders of the study. “Car ownership may reduce the local effect of fast food outlets in the neighborhood, while lack of car access appears to exacerbate it. Those who do not own cars may be more likely to visit fast food outlets than most costly full-service restaurants in their neighborhood.”
So there you have it folks, if you have a car, you might be able to escape the fast food establishments around your area and go to healthier places, but if you don’t, it seems that you have no other choice.
Read More: “Not owning a car can make you fat, study says”
Source: LA Times