Healthy Living

Turns Out Junk Food Isn't To Blame For Obesity

Getting healthy is going to take a more holistic approach.
11/09/2015 11:17am ET | Updated November 9, 2015

A diet of soda, fries and gummy worms is certainly not an Rx for healthfulness. But according to a new study from Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, junk and fast foods aren't to blame for America's obesity epidemic.

This new finding contradicts much of the research -- and conventional wisdom -- that has long blamed obesity rates on cheap, bad-for-you foods.

Researchers David Just and Brian Wansink reviewed a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S., finding no correlation between the consumption of junk food and high body mass index.

Instead, for 95 percent of Americans, there is no relationship between how much junk they eat and their weight. While these foods can contribute to weight gain and obesity, these foods are not what's driving the obesity crisis in America, according to Just.

"If we want real change we need to look at the overall diet, and physical activity," Just said. "Narrowly targeting junk foods is not just ineffective, it may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity."

Of course, this news doesn't mean you can eat Snickers bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it does indicate that we need to do more than identify a specific food or food group to fully address America's weight problem.

The research was published in the journal Obesity Science & Practice.

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