The Effect of Fast Food on BMI

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • 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

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    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


    Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    Statistic Brain

Published On: March 22, 2014