Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

The relationship between densities of different types of food outlets and adiposity measures in UK adults.

Principal Investigator: Mr Ahmad Albalawi
Approved Research ID: 41324
Approval date: December 17th 2018

Lay summary

Sixty six percent of people in the UK are overweight or obese putting them at higher risk of having serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Excess food intake is widely acknowledged as a key issue but the drivers of excess intake remain unclear. Food that is eaten outside the home at both full service and fast-food establishments is usually higher in fat, sugar and lower in essential vitamins and minerals than food that is eaten at home making it a less healthy option and potentially exacerbating the problem. We recently conducted a study in the USA and surprisingly found that greater densities of restaurants were not related to higher obesity levels. Previous studies in UK have focused specifically on fast food restaurants or takeaways. Our work will expand this to explore the associations of obesity to other types of food outlet (full service restaurants, take-ways and deliveries). Moreover prior work has generally used Body Mass Index (BMI) to reflect body fatness however this metric does not fully quantify body composition4. The proposed study will include BMI and other measures of obesity. This study will investigate the link between the density of different types of food outlets in neighbourhoods and the level of obesity among adults who live there.