When I was a kid, McDonalds used post how many millions of burgers they
had sold - two million sold, three million sold, the number just kept
going up and up. It was all right there for everyone to see, every day
and all day.
I was impressed at how quickly the number rose. Ten million sold, twenty
million sold. Now it just says that billions have been sold. A person
does not need to be an accountant to know that a billion of anything is
an awful lot. Nor does a person need to be valedictorian to know that
Americans really like fast food.
We have been warned to steer clear of the stuff, told it is not good for
us. The warnings have been supported with facts. High blood pressure,
high blood sugar, dangerous cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat are
all diseases that can result from too much fast food. All increase the
risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but we still flock to fast
food restaurants. Body mass index is one of the barometers used to gauge
just how bad an idea this is.
Body Mass Index
Body mass index is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height
that indicates body fatness. It is used to determine weight categories
that can lead to health problems.
Assessments for weight related health risk is determined by using the
three factors of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and risk
factors for conditions associated with obesity. Although it a useful
measure, it is imperfect. It can overestimate body fat in people who are
muscular or underestimate in people who have lost muscle such as the
The higher a person’s BMI, the higher the risks for diseases such as
heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
The Fast Food BMI Connection
There are 160,000 fast foods restaurants in the United States. They
serve 50 million Americans per day and command an annual revenue of $110 billion.
Forty-four percent of Americans eat fast food once a week. They pack
away thirty-seven percent of their calories for the day in that one
A study conducted by U.S. and Irish researchers has discovered that each
fast food meal increases BMI by an average of 0.03.
The study took a number of factors into account including how much
exercise a person does, if a person lived in a city or not, and a
person’s age and income. The biggest correlations between fast foods and
increases in BMI were in countries that had the lowest degree of food
regulation. Those countries with the most regulation had the lowest
number of fast food transactions as well as the lowest BMIs.
The recently published study shows that between 1999 and 2008 that the
average BMI in the 25 high-income countries rose from 25.8 to 26.4.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
Published On: March 22, 2014