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Am J Public Health. 1998 February; 88(2): 277–280.
PMCID: PMC1508201

Epidemic obesity in the United States: are fast foods and television viewing contributing?


OBJECTIVES: This study examined the association between TV viewing, fast food eating, and body mass index. METHODS: Associations between hours of TV viewing, frequency of eating at fast food restaurants, body mass index, and behaviors were assessed cross sectionally and longitudinally over 1 year in 1059 men and women. RESULTS: Fast food meals and TV viewing hours were positively associated with energy intake and body mass index in women but not in men. TV viewing predicted weight gain in high-income women. CONCLUSIONS: Secular increases in fast food availability and access to televised entertainment may contribute to increasing obesity rates in the United States.

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