Nutr Res Pract.  2011 Jun;5(3):253-259.

Survey of American food trends and the growing obesity epidemic

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Toledo College of Medicine, 3000 Arlington Avenue, BHS 377, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA. khew-voon.chin@utoledo.edu

Abstract

The rapid rise in the incidence of obesity has emerged as one of the most pressing global public health issues in recent years. The underlying etiological causes of obesity, whether behavioral, environmental, genetic, or a combination of several of them, have not been completely elucidated. The obesity epidemic has been attributed to the ready availability, abundance, and overconsumption of high-energy content food. We determined here by Pearson's correlation the relationship between food type consumption and rising obesity using the loss-adjusted food availability data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Services (ERS) as well as the obesity prevalence data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our analysis showed that total calorie intake and consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) did not correlate with rising obesity trends. Intake of other major food types, including chicken, dairy fats, salad and cooking oils, and cheese also did not correlate with obesity trends. However, our results surprisingly revealed that consumption of corn products correlated with rising obesity and was independent of gender and race/ethnicity among population dynamics in the U.S. Therefore, we were able to demonstrate a novel link between the consumption of corn products and rising obesity trends that has not been previously attributed to the obesity epidemic. This correlation coincides with the introduction of bioengineered corns into the human food chain, thus raising a new hypothesis that should be tested in molecular and animal models of obesity.

Keyword

Obesity; food trend; corn product; genetically modified; bioengineered

MeSH Terms

Aluminum Hydroxide
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Callosities
Carbonates
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Cheese
Chickens
Cooking
Fats
Food Chain
Fructose
Humans
Incidence
Models, Animal
Nutrition Surveys
Obesity
Oils
Population Dynamics
Prevalence
Public Health
United States Department of Agriculture
Zea mays
Aluminum Hydroxide
Carbonates
Fats
Fructose
Oils
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