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Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


The research article on May 05, 2023 in a popular medicine journal medscape  WebMD, LLC, 395 Hudson St. New York, NY 10014,.www.medscape.com with a title

”Study Shows Higher Obesity-Related Cancer Mortality in Areas With More Fast Food” 

written by Prof. Heidi Splete reports...

“Communities with easy access to fast food were 77% more likely to have high levels of obesity-related cancer mortality, based on data from a new cross-sectional study of more than 3,000 communities”.

Earlier I also  wrote an article

Light, sleep and obesity - is there any connection between them?

In these columns and indirectly connected with cancer From the above article.....

“In the year 2012 we published a book “Dark side of the night light” but in this book we could correlate it with hormone related cancers.  Lately, many people surveyed the population which is exposed to night light such as night shift workers are obese too. A risk factor for obesity has been linked to alterations in sleep duration.”  

For the benefit of the public and the awareness I’m reproducing the prof Heidi Splete’s article below...

Although increased 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 (food deserts) and/or easy access to convenience stores and fast food (food swamps), Malcolm Seth Bevel, PhD, of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and colleagues, wrote in their paper, published in JAMA Oncology.

In addition, data on the association between food deserts and swamps and obesity-related cancer mortality are limited, they said.

"We felt that the study was important given the fact that obesity is an epidemic in the United States, and multiple factors contribute to obesity, especially adverse food environments," Dr. Bevel said in an interview. "Also, I lived in these areas my whole life, and saw how it affected underserved populations. There was a story that needed to be told, so we're telling it," he said in an interview.

In a study, the researchers analyzed food access and cancer mortality data from 3,038 counties across the United States. The food access data came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Environment Atlas (FEA) for the years 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2020. Data on obesity-related cancer mortality came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the years from 2010 to 2020.

Food desert scores were calculated through data from the FEA, and food swamp scores were based on the ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and farmers markets in a modification of the Retail Food Environment Index score.

The researchers used an age-adjusted, multiple regression model to determine the association between food desert and food swamp scores and obesity-related cancer mortality rates. Higher food swamp and food desert scores (defined as 20.0 to 58.0 or higher) were used to classify counties as having fewer healthy food resources. The primary outcome was obesity-related cancer mortality, defined as high or low (71.8 or higher per 100,000 individuals and less than 71.8 per 100,000 individuals, respectively).

Overall, high rates of obesity-related cancer mortality were 77% more likely in the counties that met the criteria for high food swamp scores (adjusted odds ratio 1.77). In addition, researchers found a positive dose-response relationship among three levels of both food desert scores and food swamp scores and obesity-related cancer mortality.




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