Study: Those who live near fast food restaurants are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes

Junk food is bad for your health, and the regular consumption of fast food is often linked to problems like obesity. According to a U.K. study, simply living near a fast food restaurant can even increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study, which involved a collaboration between researchers from the Healthy High-Density Cities Lab at the University of Hong Kong and Oxford University, was published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health. It is also the largest study concerning Type 2 diabetes and exposure to fast food chains.

Fast food chains and diabetes risk

The researchers who conducted the study are lobbying for a better public health model so individuals who live in cities full of fast food chains can become healthier. The researchers also believe that the implementation of health interventions can help address the nutritional imbalances caused by an individual’s proximity to fast food restaurants.

The team of scientists acknowledged that while the study only identified a link between fast food proximity and Type 2 diabetes risk, the findings verify earlier studies which indicate that residing near fast food chains is a risk factor for both obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

For the study, researchers evaluated 350,000 men and women from all over the U.K. and their proximities to fast food restaurants. (Related: Fast food prior to pregnancy found to increase risk of gestational diabetes.)

The research team discovered that in certain streets throughout the U.K., individuals had limited access to healthier food options. Study findings showed that people who resided in the densest cluster of fast food restaurants had an 11 percent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes compared to individuals who lived in a street that is at least one kilometer (km) away from fast food chains.

The authors said that the results of the study “have important public health implications.” To resolve this alarming concern, cities in the U.K. must make the switch from an “exclusively corporate-driven economic model to a public health-driven health economic model of urban food access and consumption.”

In 2018, the U.K. government urged all restaurants to label the calorie content in their menus so customers can make healthier decisions.

The researchers believe that national-level policies can encourage and give the food industry the incentive to make healthier changes to their menus. Dr. Chinmoy Sarkar, the lead author of the study, concluded, “We have to move away from the economic model to a more public health model.”

Healthy snacks for people with diabetes

If you have Type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the occasional snack. You just need to make sure that you eat foods from the healthy snacks listed below.

These foods are full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein and you can eat them without any guilt. These snacks also contain nutrients that can help keep your blood sugar levels under control.

  • Avocado – This fruit can help manage your blood sugar levels. Avocados are full of fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids that can help prevent blood sugar from spiking after a meal.
  • A handful of almonds – Almonds are nutritious, and a one-ounce (28-gram) serving contains over 15 vitamins and minerals, like 32 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for manganese, 19 percent for magnesium, and 17 percent for riboflavin.
  • Hard-boiled eggs – Hard-boiled eggs are the perfect snack for individuals with diabetes. Eggs have protein, which can keep blood sugar from rising too high after you eat.
  • Yogurt topped with berries – If you’re looking for a sweet snack, eat some Greek yogurt with berries. Berries have antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage to the pancreas, the organ that produces hormones that can lower blood sugar levels. Yogurt can also help lower blood sugar levels.

Visit to read more articles about the health risks linked to the consumption of fast food restaurants.

Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus