Junk food Is Not Making You Fat? What!?

It definitely shocked me to know that a study done that has is now being used by anti-health advocates to show that eating junk food has nothing to do with BMI, when science shows time and time again that the consumption of sugary beverages and high calorie junk foods such as potato chips and bacon are strongly related to Obesity. Decades of nutritional science have backed up the conclusion that empty calories from nutritionally deficient high calorie foods are related with increasing BMIs.

So that’s it right? This article is over, thanks for reading.

But it isn’t over. We still have to read through the study and wonder why it is saying otherwise.

To start off, the study that was conducted is “Fast Food, Soft Drink, and Candy Intake is Unrelated to Body Mass Index For 95% oAmerican Adults(sic)” published by the Social Science Research Center, which publishes anything until a more prestigious science journal decides to pick it up. But that is not what places doubt on this study.

563This study got their results from NHANES, AKA the National Household and Nutrition Examination Survey. Which is fine by itself, but a survey alone is never enough to accurately make such a bold claim such as “For 95% of this study’s sample, the association between fast food, soft drinks, and candy and BMI was negative.”

The survey started off with 5000 participants, but this study got rid of everyone who was underweight and morbidly obese, as well as everyone under the age of 18. They  do not mention how many subjects are left for the sample size after taking all of these into account.

Also, the study only asked adults in-person interviews about their weight, and only took 2 separate 24 hour food logs. I should not have to explain to anyone why this would be inefficient at best, harmful at worst, to claim that junk food does NOT increase your BMI. Espessially when you claim something like this:

“Among indulgent items from 24-hour food recalls, no significant variation exists between BMI sub-categories in consumption of french-fries, full-calorie soft drinks, or desserts.”

However, the CDC says:

“High-energy-dense foods are ones that have a lot of calories in each bite. A recent study among children showed that a high-energy-dense diet is associated with a higher risk for excess body fat during childhood. Sugar sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar and an important contributor of calories in the diets of children in the United States. High consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, which have few, if any, nutrients, has been associated with obesity.”

and

“The percentage of total daily calories from fast food increased as weight status increased.”

So unless this study knows something that the CDC and many other studies state, I will trust the more trustworthy source. The study seems to claim that overconsumption in general is the issue, and not fast food, and while eating too much of ANYTHING can make you fat, and vast majority of overweight people struggle with the consumption of junk foods, not kale, wheat bread,  and broccoli.

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