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Is the number of fast-food outlets in the neighbourhood related to screen-detected type 2 diabetes mellitus and associated risk factors?

  • Danielle H Bodicoat (a1), Patrice Carter (a1), Alexis Comber (a2), Charlotte Edwardson (a1), Laura J Gray (a3), Sian Hill (a1), David Webb (a1), Thomas Yates (a1), Melanie J Davies (a1) and Kamlesh Khunti (a1)...



We investigated whether a higher number of fast-food outlets in an individual’s home neighbourhood is associated with increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and related risk factors, including obesity.


Cross-sectional study.


Three UK-based diabetes screening studies (one general population, two high-risk populations) conducted between 2004 and 2011. The primary outcome was screen-detected type 2 diabetes. Secondary outcomes were risk factors for type 2 diabetes.


In total 10 461 participants (mean age 59 years; 53 % male; 21 % non-White ethnicity).


There was a higher number of neighbourhood (500 m radius from home postcode) fast-food outlets among non-White ethnic groups (P<0·001) and in socially deprived areas (P<0·001). After adjustment (social deprivation, urban/rural, ethnicity, age, sex), more fast-food outlets was associated with significantly increased odds for diabetes (OR=1·02; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·04) and obesity (OR=1·02; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·03). This suggests that for every additional two outlets per neighbourhood, we would expect one additional diabetes case, assuming a causal relationship between the fast-food outlets and diabetes.


These results suggest that increased exposure to fast-food outlets is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which has implications for diabetes prevention at a public health level and for those granting planning permission to new fast-food outlets.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email


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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
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