Take Part - In an analysis of data collected from 5,000 Americans in the 2007 and 2008 National Household and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers looked for an epidemiological relationship between the consumption of junk food and sugary drinks and a respondent’s weight. The results will surprise many: After excluding the clinically underweight and morbidly obese from the study, researchers found that for 95 percent of the population, consuming more soda, candy, and fast food is not associated with weight gain or a higher body mass index.
The analysis, conducted by professors David Just and Brian Wansink and published in the journal Obesity Science and Practice, does not claim that Big Gulps and bags of burgers are nutritious choices—only that these items are not the main culprits behind obesity.
...The report suggests that instead of people depriving themselves of a favorite foods, which “can lead to frustration and ultimately have little impact on overall weight,” we should instead be monitoring overall calorie consumption from meals and snacking, as well as curbing our consumption of added fats from things like salad dressings, oils, sour cream, and bread. For public health advocates, the approach for curbing obesity, the report suggests, should also include the promotion of more exercise and consumption of nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.