Food words trending in today's newspapers could help predict a country's obesity rates in three years, according to findings recently published in the journal BMC Public Health.
In the study, researchers examined whether media mentions of food predate obesity prevalence by analyzing mentions of foods in New York Times and London Times articles over the past 50 years. Using this data, they statistically correlated it with each country's annual Body Mass Index, or BMI. Brennan Davis, PhD, lead author of the study and an associate professor of marketing at California Polytechnic State University, said in a release that results showed:
The more sweet snacks are mentioned and the fewer fruits and vegetables that are mentioned in your newspaper, the fatter your country’s population is going to be in 3 years, according to trends we found from the past fifty years ... But the less often they’re mentioned and the more vegetables are mentioned, the skinnier the public will be.
Researchers say the research could help public health officials better understand the effectiveness of current obesity interventions.
Previously: Adventurous eaters more likely to be healthy, new study shows, Want kids to eat their veggies? Researchers suggest labeling foods with snazzy names, Can edible "stop signs" revive portion control and curb overeating? and Can dish color influence how much you eat?
Photo by Jaysin Trevino