Why Fast Food Isn’t Making You Fat

We all know fast food is bad for us, and it has been blamed for the American epidemic of obesity for many years now. But maybe fast food isn’t to blame after all, according to this research by Cornell University.

There’s no doubt that our love of fast food has contributed to our ill health as a nation. (Although arguably, it’s not our love of fast food itself, but convenience that is the culprit.)  However, some researchers have contended that there actually isn’t a clear link between fast food and our expanding waistlines. It’s actually a lot simpler and more basic than that, according to this article, which says it’s actually how much we eat that matters more.

“These are foods that are clearly bad for you and if you eat too much of them they will make you fat, but it doesn’t appear to be the main driver that is making people overweight and obese,” said David Just, lead researcher and co-director at Ithaca, New York’s Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics.

“For 95% of the country, there is no relationship between the fast food and junk food they’re eating and their weight,” said Just. The researcher believes that Americans’ bad habits are to blame….

But this does not mean it is okay to eat junk food. “One must be careful not to misinterpret the findings of this study to mean that eating fast food, candy, and soft drinks does not affect the health of children and adults,” says Samantha Heller, a clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center.


…Fast food, soda, and candy are linked to weight gain, heart disease, and Type 2 Diabetes. “The diets of the patients I see who are struggling with being overweight or obese are often high in fast and junk foods and sugar,” said Heller. She explained that processed foods actually trigger the body to crave more.… A diet high in junk food starts a cycle of craving more and eating fewer healthy foods.


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