In December 2019 researchers from The Netherlands published the results of their study to assess the association between the density of local fast-food restaurants, diet quality and blood pressure levels. A total of 1543 adults (32% male; average age 52 years) were involved in the study which lasted for a 4-year period. Diet quality was defined by adherence with the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet. Information on food consumption was collected via a food frequency questionnaire and blood pressure levels were measured. The density of fast food restaurants within a 1600 m, 800 m and 400 m radius around the home postal code was calculated. Results showed that exposure to fast food restaurants ranged from 0-35 per km2. Analysis revealed that the density of fast food restaurants was not significantly associated with adherence to the DASH diet or blood pressure levels. However, it was seen that for those individuals with a low level of self-control, a higher density of fast food restaurants within an 800 m radius from the home resulted in a lower adherence to the DASH diet. A higher density of fast food restaurants had no effect on those individuals who had a high degree of self-control.
Mackenbach JD et al. Local fast-food environment, diet and blood pressure: the moderating role of mastery. Eur J Nutr. 2019 Dec;58(8):3129-3134.