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Abstract

Buffets are the "perfect" environment for facilitating excessive energy intake. Customers at buffets often eat considerably more food than is the usual case at regular restaurants. However, extremely little research has been conducted on the relationship between buffets, energy intake, and weight gain. Research studies are therefore needed that investigate whether buffets do indeed contribute to excessive food intake and thence obesity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

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... Research investigating the impact of AYCEB on energy storage (i.e., weight gain) has been scarce. In fact, Temple and Nowrouzi [2] suggested that "research studies are needed that investigate whether buffets do indeed contribute to the excessive food intake and thence obesity" (p. 1), but outputs in the topic area remain limited. ...
... The centralised style refers to diners sharing a dish, such as a hot pot; the separate style means that diners do not share dishes with others but eat their own food; while in the dispersed style, diners share many dishes, which is common in family gatherings (see Fig. 1). Previous studies have shown that these three dining styles are common not only in China but also in other countries in Europe and Asia [35]. (2) Conversion behaviours. ...
Article
The acoustic environment of restaurants is important for diners. Based on acoustic measurements and a questionnaire survey of typical restaurants, differences in diners' conversation behaviour and acoustic perception were analysed. Three dining styles were compared (centralized, separate, and dispersed), and crowd density and background music were considered. Several interesting findings were gained. First, dining styles affected conversation behaviour. When there were four or more diners per table, conversation increased compared to when there were three or fewer; and background music did not reduce conversation. With the centralized style, the proportion of speech diners heard was greater than for the other two dining styles, even as crowd density increased. Second, dining styles affected sound pressure level. With background music, the separate style decreased sound pressure level more effectively than the other two styles when crowd density was low, and without background music, the separate style decreased sound pressure level more effectively than the other two dining styles irrespective of crowd density. Dining styles also affected acoustic comfort: with the centralized and separate styles, acoustic comfort took on a parabolic shape, first increasing and then decreasing as crowd density increased, while with the dispersed style, as crowd density increased, the acoustic comfort of diners decreased.
... To bridge the gap between the laboratory and the real world, the dependent variable was assessed in a natural environment (i.e., a buffet-style meal) to test our predictions. Consumption of a buffet-type meal was examined because previous research has shown that buffets are closely related to excessive energy intake and weight gain (see [11] for a related review). Additionally, this research investigated the moderating role of attitudes toward weight loss supplements under the assumption that positive attitudes toward weight loss supplements would more likely lead to poor dietary self-control. ...
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While general consensus holds that food portion sizes are increasing, no empirical data have documented actual increases. To determine trends in food portion sizes consumed in the United States, by eating location and food source. Nationally representative data from the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (1977-1978) and the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (1989-1991, 1994-1996, and 1998). The sample consists of 63 380 individuals aged 2 years and older. For each survey year, average portion size consumed from specific food items (salty snacks, desserts, soft drinks, fruit drinks, french fries, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, and Mexican food) by eating location (home, restaurant, or fast food). Portion sizes vary by food source, with the largest portions consumed at fast food establishments and the smallest at other restaurants. Between 1977 and 1996, food portion sizes increased both inside and outside the home for all categories except pizza. The energy intake and portion size of salty snacks increased by 93 kcal (from 1.0 to 1.6 oz [28.4 to 45.4 g]), soft drinks by 49 kcal (13.1 to 19.9 fl oz [387.4 to 588.4 mL]), hamburgers by 97 kcal (5.7 to 7.0 oz [161.6 to 198.4 g]), french fries by 68 kcal (3.1 to 3.6 oz [87.9 to 102.1 g]), and Mexican food by 133 kcal (6.3 to 8.0 oz [178.6 to 226.8 g]). Portion sizes and energy intake for specific food types have increased markedly with greatest increases for food consumed at fast food establishments and in the home.
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Fast-food consumption has increased greatly in the USA during the past three decades. However, the effect of fast food on risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes has received little attention. We aimed to investigate the association between reported fast-food habits and changes in bodyweight and insulin resistance over a 15-year period in the USA. Participants for the CARDIA study included 3031 young (age 18-30 years in 1985-86) black and white adults who were followed up with repeated dietary assessment. We used multiple linear regression models to investigate the association of frequency of fast-food restaurant visits (fast-food frequency) at baseline and follow-up with 15-year changes in bodyweight and the homoeostasis model (HOMA) for insulin resistance. Fast-food frequency was lowest for white women (about 1.3 times per week) compared with the other ethnic-sex groups (about twice a week). After adjustment for lifestyle factors, baseline fast-food frequency was directly associated with changes in bodyweight in both black (p=0.0050) and white people (p=0.0013). Change in fast-food frequency over 15 years was directly associated with changes in bodyweight in white individuals (p<0.0001), with a weaker association recorded in black people (p=0.1004). Changes were also directly associated with insulin resistance in both ethnic groups (p=0.0015 in black people, p<0.0001 in white people). By comparison with the average 15-year weight gain in participants with infrequent (less than once a week) fast-food restaurant use at baseline and follow-up (n=203), those with frequent (more than twice a week) visits to fast-food restaurants at baseline and follow-up (n=87) gained an extra 4.5 kg of bodyweight (p=0.0054) and had a two-fold greater increase in insulin resistance (p=0.0083). Fast-food consumption has strong positive associations with weight gain and insulin resistance, suggesting that fast food increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Article
Context While general consensus holds that food portion sizes are increasing, no empirical data have documented actual increases.Objective To determine trends in food portion sizes consumed in the United States, by eating location and food source.Design, Setting, and Participants Nationally representative data from the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (1977-1978) and the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (1989-1991,1994-1996, and 1998). The sample consists of 63380 individuals aged 2 years and older.Main Outcome Measure For each survey year, average portion size consumed from specific food items (salty snacks, desserts, soft drinks, fruit drinks, french fries, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, and Mexican food) by eating location (home, restaurant, or fast food).Results Portion sizes vary by food source, with the largest portions consumed at fast food establishments and the smallest at other restaurants. Between 1977 and 1996, food portion sizes increased both inside and outside the home for all categories except pizza. The energy intake and portion size of salty snacks increased by 93 kcal (from 1.0 to 1.6 oz [28.4 to 45.4 g]), soft drinks by 49 kcal (13.1 to 19.9 fl oz [387.4 to 588.4 mL]), hamburgers by 97 kcal (5.7 to 7.0 oz [161.6 to 198.4 g]), french fries by 68 kcal (3.1 to 3.6 oz [87.9 to 102.1 gl), and Mexican food by 133 kcal (6.3 to 8.0 oz [178.6 to 226.8 g]).Conclusion Portion sizes and energy intake for specific food types have increased markedly with greatest increases for food consumed at fast food establishments and in the home.
Article
To examine the association between weight status and characteristics of the food and physical activity environments among adults in rural U.S. communities. Cross-sectional telephone survey data from rural residents were used to examine the association between obesity (body mass index [BMI] >30 kg/m(2)) and perceived access to produce and low-fat foods, frequency and location of food shopping and restaurant dining, and environmental factors that support physical activity. Data were collected from July to September 2005 in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Logistic regression models (N=826) adjusted for age, education and gender comparing normal weight to obese respondents. Eating out frequently, specifically at buffets, cafeterias, and fast food restaurants was associated with higher rates of obesity. Perceiving the community as unpleasant for physical activity was also associated with obesity. Adults in rural communities were less likely to be obese when perceived food and physical activity environments supported healthier behaviors. Additional environmental and behavioral factors relevant to rural adults should be examined in under-studied rural U.S. populations.
Article
Obesity has increased dramatically over the past two decades and currently about 50% of US adults and 25% of US children are overweight. The current epidemic of obesity is caused largely by an environment that promotes excessive food intake and discourages physical activity. This chapter reviews what is known about environmental influences on physical activity and eating behaviors. Recent trends in food supply, eating out, physical activity, and inactivity are reviewed, as are the effects of advertising, promotion, and pricing on eating and physical activity. Public health interventions, opportunities, and potential strategies to combat the obesity epidemic by promoting an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity are discussed.
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The highest rates of obesity in the United States occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education. The impact of socioeconomic variables on obesity may be mediated, in part, by the low cost of energy-dense foods. The observed inverse relationship between energy density of foods, defined as available energy per unit weight (kilocalories per gram or megajoules per kilogram), and energy cost (dollars per kilocalorie or dollars per megajoule) means that diets based on refined grains, added sugars, and added fats are more affordable than the recommended diets based on lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit. Taste and convenience of added sugars and added fats can also skew food choices in the direction of prepared and prepackaged foods. Paradoxically, attempting to reduce diet costs may lead to the selection of energy-dense foods, increased energy intakes, and overweight. The present energy-cost framework provides an economic explanation for the observed links between obesity and the food environment, with diet cost as the principal intervening variable. If higher food costs represent both a real and perceived barrier to dietary change, especially for lower-income families, then the ability to adopt healthier diets may have less to do with psychosocial factors, self-efficacy, or readiness to change than with household economic resources and the food environment. Continuing to recommend costly diets to low-income families as a public health measure can only generate frustration and culpability among the poor and less-well educated. Obesity in America is, to a large extent, an economic issue.
Article
Increasing evidence links restaurant food with overweight, but little is known about the relative roles of different types of restaurants, or the effects among Latinos. Using baseline data from an intervention trial, this study tested whether the type of restaurant a family reports visiting most often is associated with the body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)) of children and adults. Children, ages 4 to 7, and one primary caregiver for each child (94% mothers), were recruited through public elementary schools in southern San Diego County, CA, with at least 70% Latino enrollment. Weight and height measurements and survey information assessing family restaurant patronage were collected from 223 pairs of children and adults. Logistic regression results showed that children were most likely to be at risk of overweight (BMI >or=85th percentile) in families who ate most often at fast-food chains (odds ratio: 2.2; 95% confidence interval: 1.2 to 4.3). Parent overweight (BMI >or=25) was associated with eating at American restaurants, primarily buffets (odds ratio: 2.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.3 to 6.2). Both child and parent BMI were lowest in families selecting Mexican restaurants. Eating at fast-food chains and other Anglo-oriented restaurants may contribute to higher obesity rates linked to acculturation among Mexican Americans.
Article
A previous study showed that increasing the portion sizes of all foods led to an increase in energy intake that was sustained over 2 days. The objective of the present study was to determine whether participants would compensate for excess energy intake or continue to overeat when portion sizes were increased for 11 days. Participants in the study were 23 normal-weight and overweight participants (10 women and 13 men). All of their foods and caloric beverages were provided during two different periods of 11 consecutive days, which were separated by a 2-week interval. During one period, standard portions of all items were served; during the other, all portion sizes were increased by 50%. The 50% increase in portion sizes resulted in a mean increase in daily energy intake of 423 +/- 27 kcal (p < 0.0001), which did not differ significantly between women and men. This increase was sustained for 11 days and did not decline significantly over time, leading to a mean cumulative increase in intake of 4636 +/- 532 kcal. A significant effect of portion size on intake was seen at all meals and in all categories of foods except fruit (as a snack) and vegetables. The effect of portion size on intake was not influenced by the body weight status of participants. These results strengthen the evidence suggesting that increased portions contribute to the overconsumption of energy and to excess body weight.
Canada Behdin Nowrouzi Interdisciplinary PhD Program, School of Rural and Northern Health
  • Norman J Temple
  • Centre
  • Science
  • Athabasca
  • University
Norman J. Temple* Centre for Science, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta T9S 3A3, Canada Behdin Nowrouzi Interdisciplinary PhD Program, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 2C6, Canada * Corresponding author. Tel.: þ1780 469 3982; fax: þ1780 675 6186. E-mail address: normant@athabascau.ca (N.J. Temple) 10 May 2012 Letter to the Editor / Clinical Nutrition 32 (2013) 664–665
  • Aa Casey
  • M Elliott
  • K Glanz
  • D Haire-Joshu
  • Sl Lovegreen
  • Be Saelens
Casey AA, Elliott M, Glanz K, Haire-Joshu D, Lovegreen SL, Saelens BE, et al. Impact of the food environment and physical activity environment on behaviors and weight status in rural U.S. communities. Prev Med 2008;47:600–4.
Environmental influences on eating and physical activity
  • S A French
  • M Story
  • R W Jeffery
French SA, Story M, Jeffery RW. Environmental influences on eating and physical activity. Annu Rev Public Health 2001;22:309-35.