Preliminary research has found that adults over the age of 50 who live near fast food-intensive environments may be at increased risk of stroke.
So-called “food swamps” typically include an abundance of fast food chains and convenience stores, and are essentially “swamp” neighborhoods with unhealthy eating options, the authors explain. I’m here.
Meanwhile, food swamps often overlap with food deserts, and the lack of grocery stores makes it difficult to find fresh produce, they added.
“An unhealthy diet negatively impacts blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increases the risk of stroke,” said lead author Dixon Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in a statement.
“For many people, regardless of their demographic or socioeconomic status, living in an area with poor food options can be an important factor to consider,” Yang added. rice field.
The research team conducted a secondary analysis of data collected on 17,875 adults between 2010 and 2016.
The first data comes from an ongoing health and retirement study at the University of Michigan that is recruiting participants nationwide to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with aging.
The researchers then cross-referenced this information with the USDA’s food environment details to create the so-called “retail food environment index.”
The index they described shows the ratio of unhealthy food choices to the number of healthy choices in each region.
According to the report, unhealthy foods include convenience stores, fast food and full-service restaurants, while healthy food retailers include grocery stores, farmers markets and specialty food stores.
Regions with more unhealthy options had ratios above 5, while regions with more healthy options had ratios of 5 or less.
“Previous research has shown that a ratio of 5 or more on the Retail Food Environment Index may predict a higher number of obese people in the neighborhood,” says Yang.
Yang and his colleagues weighted 17,875 adults as representative of the more than 84 million community-dwelling adult US population.
Scientists have found that more than 3 million people (3.8% of those surveyed) self-reported to have had a stroke.
About 28% of those surveyed lived in areas with a Retail Food Environment Index of less than 5 (where healthier options are available).
The survey found that the remaining 72% lived in neighborhoods ranked 5th or higher in the index.
The authors found that people who lived in areas with fewer healthy options had a 13% higher chance of having a stroke compared with those living in areas ranked less than 5.
The scientists acknowledged some limitations of the study, such as the single period assessed and the fact that stroke events were self-reported.
What’s more, the study is still in its preliminary stages and will be presented at next week’s American Stroke Association conference, and has not yet been peer-reviewed.
“At this early stage of our research, it is important to raise awareness that a person’s neighborhood and dietary environment are important factors that can influence health.
“In the future, it is hoped that a focus on community-based interventions and dietary advice to improve cardiovascular health may help, thereby reducing stroke risk.” he added.