Study shows higher obesity-related cancer mortality in areas with more fast food

Data from a study of more than 3,000 US communities has shown that those with easy access to fast food were 77% more likely to have high levels of obesity-related cancer mortality.

Although more healthy eating has been associated with reduced risk of obesity and with reduced cancer incidence and mortality, access to healthier eating remains a challenge in communities with less access to grocery stores and healthy food options (aka ‘food deserts’) and/or easier access to convenience stores and fast food outlets (’food swamps’).

In the study, the researchers analyzed food access and cancer mortality data from 3,038 counties across the United States and determined the association between ‘food desert’ and ‘food swamp’ scores and obesity-related cancer mortality rates.

Higher ‘food swamp’ and ‘food desert’ scores were used to classify counties as having fewer healthy food resources. Overall, high rates of obesity-related cancer mortality were 77% more likely in the counties that met the criteria for high food swamp scores. In addition, researchers found a positive relationship among three levels of both food desert scores and food swamp scores and obesity-related cancer mortality.

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