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Urban black obesity linked to fast food

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NEW ORLEANS, Nov 02, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The epidemic of obesity in low income, majority black U.S. neighborhoods is linked to the density of fast-food outlets, Tulane University researchers report.

Researchers used computer software to analyze the placement of fast food restaurants in Orleans Parish in Louisiana, and found predominantly black neighborhoods had 2.4 such eateries per square mile, while white neighborhoods only had 1.5.

"We know that when people eat fast food, they often have larger portions with higher calorie counts than they do if they cook fresh food at home," wrote the study's lead author, Jason Block, now an internal medicine physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "We also know that obesity is increasingly a problem for low-income and black individuals."

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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