Body Mass Index is a measure that determines if a person is overweight or not. It is calculated by dividing body mass with the square of the body height and is often used by health experts to determine the age of the body as compared to its real chronological age, as well as the level of physical health that the body is in. A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is considered normal, whereas people with BMI between 25 and 30 are considered overweight. Our diets, level of physical activity and a number of other factors determine our BMI. A new study has now said that proximity of stores selling a variety of different fast foods to your commuting route also affects your BMI. The study said that the presence of a variety of food stores near the residence and the route of commute may affect BMI in a significant way.
The study titled, "Impact of multiple food environments on body mass index" was published in the journal PLOS One and it was conducted by researchers at the Arizona State University in the U.S. This is the first study that has looked at health outcomes of the presence of food stores near the commuting routes of participants. For the study, the researchers looked at 710 elementary school employees in New Orleans, Lousiana. The author looked at existing database to determine the number of supermarkets, grocery stores and fast-food restaurants present within a Kilometer of the participants' residential and workplace addresses.
Quite logically, the presence of these food stores and food restaurants was linked with higher BMI in participants. The study concluded by saying, "The current study is the first to examine the relationship between BMI and food environments around residential neighborhoods, work neighborhoods, and the commuting corridor. Significant results were found between BMI and the availability of food stores around residential neighborhoods and the commuting corridor, adjusted for individual-level factors. This study expands the analysis beyond residential neighborhoods, illustrating the importance of multiple environmental factors in relation to BMI."
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)