Researchers present findings that junk food in not responsible for any relevant weight gain on the BMI scale.
A new Cornell University Food and Brand Lab study conducted by the Lab co-directors David Just, PhD, and Brian Wansink, PhD was recently published in Obesity Science & Practice. According to the findings of the study, that intake of food labelled into the junk food category like soda, candy, fast food etc. are not related to Body Mass Index in the average adult.
Just and Wansink reviewed a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States. They found that consumption of soda, candy and fast food is not linked to Body Mass Index (BMI) for 95% of the population.
The assumption is not an exception to those who are on the extreme ends of the BMI spectrum. That includes people who are chronically underweight and those who are morbidly obese.
Researchers concluded that if there was no significant difference in consumption of these indulgent foods between overweight and healthy weight individuals, then the overwhelming majority of weight problems are not caused by consumption of soda, candy and fast food alone.
Dr. Just said that explained that that diets and health campaigns aimed at reducing and preventing obesity may be off track if they hinge on throwing bad light on specific foods.
"This means," explains Dr. Just, "that diets and health campaigns aimed at reducing and preventing obesity may be off track if they hinge on demonizing specific foods."
If real change is required then we need to look at the overall diet, and physical activity. Narrowly targeting junk foods is not just ineffective, it may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity.
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The clinical implications of the study suggests that the clinicians and practitioners seeking to help individuals obtain a healthy weight should examine the overall consumption patterns, such as snacking, and physical activity influence weight instead of just eliminating "junk foods" from patient's diets.