Guess what?! Fast food isn’t making people obese! Rejoice! Eat Big Macs! At least that’s what the latest study on fast food would have you believe. The researchers found that fast food consumption wasn’t the cause of obesity. Instead, it was the overall dietary pattern. No matter that the fast food was part of the overall dietary pattern. No matter that children who regularly consumed fast food were, in fact, more likely to be overweight or obese than children who did not consume fast food. And, no matter that weight isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to health. Even if children who are regularly consuming fast food aren’t overweight (which actually wasn’t what this study found) that doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. It’s quite likely that they’re lacking in essential nutrients.
In addition to the issues mentioned above, it’s also important to note that the study looked at data from the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). Due to the flaws in dietary recall, it’s difficult to put too much credence in these results. It’s also important to recognise that anyone working in obesity and/or nutrition will tell you that there is no one single culprit when it comes to obesity. Just because fast food is not the sole cause of overweight and obesity doesn’t mean that it’s not a contributing factor. It’s one component in our broken food system.