Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Fast food

Image: Martin Vorel, Girl with ice cream, Libreshot, Public domain
4 November 2019

Children in New York City who live less than 0.025 miles (about half a city block) from a fast-food outlet are more likely to be obese or overweight than children who live further away, according to this paper. The probability of a child being overweight was up to 4.4% lower and the probability of obesity was up to 2.9% lower for children who lived further away, relative to those who lived closest to fast-food outlets. The study used over 3.5 million data points (measurements of body mass index) from the New York City public school system between 2009 and 2013. 

4 March 2019

This report from the UK think tank, the Food Foundation identifies ten statistics that illustrate the effect that the UK’s food system has on health, and makes recommendations aimed at ensuring that healthy diets are accessible to all.

26 June 2018

This book, by Peter Jackson et al., looks at different types of convenience foods and why consumers use them, and seeks to apply its findings to policies for healthy and sustainable diets.

19 March 2018

This report from Foodservice Footprint discusses the need for more sustainable diets, outlines the business case for introducing them and provides a framework to help food service businesses offer sustainable food options.

15 March 2017

This report from the UK free market think tank Institute of Economic Affairs claims that healthy food is actually cheaper than ‘junk food’. In drawing this conclusion the IEA also states that taxes on unhealthy foods (consumed as they say disproportionately by people with low incomes) is unlikely to be enough to change consumer behaviour and will be regressive - it will hit poorer people the hardest. 

17 November 2016

Publisher’s abstract as follows: There is enormous current interest in urban food systems, with a wide array of policies and initiatives intended to increase food security, decrease ecological impacts and improve public health. This volume is a cross-disciplinary and applied approach to urban food system sustainability, health, and equity.

Photo credit: Scion_cho, Junked, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
24 October 2016

A key ingredient in junk food is vegetable oil. 60% of this oil is from oil palm and soybean, production of which has been expanding in Southeast Asia and South America, resulting in widespread deforestation and biodiversity loss. In this article, the authors calculate the amount of current deforestation due to vegetable oil consumption (through junk food) and extrapolate vegetable oil demand to predict the deforestation future consumption patterns would cause by 2050.

Credit: wellunwell, soft drinks, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
11 October 2016

This study estimates the environmental impacts of what it terms discretionary foods - foods and drinks that do not provide nutrients that the body particularly needs. It finds that these foods account for 33-39% of food-related footprints in Australia.

28 June 2016

A new report by McKinsey & Company argues that China seems to be abandoning Western fast food for healthier options. Only 51% of consumers in China said they ate Western fast food in 2015, signalling a drop from the 67% who said they consumed fast food in 2012.

30 January 2015

Two new papers from researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have analysed the portion sizes and nutritional contents (including calories, sodium, saturated fats and trans fats) of popular menu items served at three national fast-food chains between 1996 and 2013. The researchers found that average calories, sodium, and saturated fat stayed relatively constant, at high levels and the only decline seen was of trans fat of fries that took place between 2000-2009. The products analysed were: French fries, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwich, and regular cola.

29 January 2015

McDonalds has announced that it will begin using “verified sustainable beef” in some of its hamburgers by 2016. In this article however, it is questioned “what exactly is so sustainable – or indeed verifiable – about the beef of the future”.

2 October 2014

Advocates of the alternative food movement often insist that food is our "common ground" – that through the very basic human need to eat, we all become entwined in a network of mutual solidarity. In this book, the author explores the contradictions and shortcomings of alternative food activism by examining specific endeavours of the movement through various lenses of social difference – including class, race, gender, and age.

27 March 2014

Understanding the influence of neighbourhood food environments in light of recent changes in society and rising levels of overweight and obesity has become very important.