Fast foods, energy density and obesity: a possible mechanistic link


Prentice, AM; Jebb, SA; (2003) Fast foods, energy density and obesity: a possible mechanistic link. Obesity reviews, 4 (4). pp. 187-94. ISSN 1467-7881 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-789X.2003.00117.x

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract

Fast foods are frequently linked to the epidemic of obesity, but there has been very little scientific appraisal of a possible causal role. Here we review a series of studies demonstrating that the energy density of foods is a key determinant of energy intake. These studies show that humans have a weak innate ability to recognise foods with a high energy density and to appropriately down-regulate the bulk of food eaten in order to maintain energy balance. This induces so called 'passive over-consumption'. Composition data from leading fast food company websites are then used to illustrate that most fast foods have an extremely high energy density. At some typical outlets the average energy density of the entire menus is approximately 1100 kJ 100 g(-1). This is 65% higher than the average British diet (approximately 670 kJ 100 g(-1)) and more than twice the energy density of recommended healthy diets (approximately 525 kJ 100 g(-1)). It is 145% higher than traditional African diets (approximately 450 kJ 100 g(-1)) that probably represent the levels against which human weight regulatory mechanisms have evolved. We conclude that the high energy densities of many fast foods challenge human appetite control systems with conditions for which they were never designed. Among regular consumers they are likely to result in the accidental consumption of excess energy and hence to promote weight gain and obesity.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 14649369
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/15163

Statistics


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
332Hits
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item