Think about your walk, cycle, or drive to work. What type of shops and cafes do you happen to see along the way? Believe it or not, the food vendors you pass on your commute could have an impact on your health, according to new research. The surprising study may change the way that we view the area around us and how it affects our overall health.
What the new study says…
The enlightening research from Arizona State University looked at commuting workers and the food options available to them either near their home or commute. Researcher, Adriana Dornelles, reviewed at a wide range of information from more than 700 elementary school employees. The aim was to determine how food availability in the area affected their health and wellness.
Dornelles also used data to find out which types of restaurants were situated on each employee’s commute. From fast-food restaurants to supermarkets, she looked into every possible option. The idea was to paint a vivid picture of the food availability in each location. After doing so, she analysed the effect that these types of vendors had on staff members and, in particular, their BMI scores.
What that means in-depth…
The findings suggested that the greater number of unhealthy fast food restaurants there were in the area, the higher employees’ BMI scores were. That suggests that travelling past these vendors on the way to work can cause people to eat unhealthy options and gain weight.
“The most important finding of the study was to establish a significant relationship between BMI and multiple food environments,”says Dornelles. “In our daily lives, we are exposed to several healthy and unhealthy food choices, which has an impact on BMI. The availability and variety of fast-food restaurants along our commute create endless opportunities for a quick, cheap, and unhealthy meal, which results, on average, in higher body mass index.”
Future research needed
Of course, there could be a wide range of environmental and socio-economic reasons for these findings. For that reason, Dornelles suggests that more research into this interesting area is necessary in the future. Through further studies, researchers will be able to determine what the cause of this link is and whether unhealthy fast food vendors are culpable.
At Shed, we want to redefine the world of ‘fast food’. Our aim is to better people’s lives through the food that they eat. Our smart vending machines offer commuters and workers health, nutritiously balanced food when they are on-the-go. From healthful wraps to overnight oats and vitamin-packed drinks, there’s something for everyone.