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Outdoor Fast-Food Ads Linked To Higher Obesity Rates In Urban Areas

January 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A study by scientists at UCLA finds a significant correlation between outdoor advertisements promoting fast food and soft drinks in any given census tract and the likelihood the area’s residents are overweight or obese. For this study, researchers looked at two densely populated areas in Los Angeles and New Orleans with a mix of high- and low-income residents. They linked the occurrence of outdoor fast-food ads with telephone-survey data on height, weight, self-reported body mass index (BMI) and soda consumption. They found that the higher the percentage of outdoor ads for food in a given census area, the higher the odds of obesity in those areas.
Lenard Lesser et al., "Outdoor advertising, obesity, and soda consumption: a cross-sectional study", BMC Public Health, January 30, 2013, © Lesser et al.
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