Many studies have linked the meals served at fast-food outlets to obesity, but is there a relationship between the number of restaurants in a country and the girth of its population?
To answer this question, an international team of health experts looked at the number of Subway restaurants per 100,000 people in 26 economically advanced countries. They also considered other factors, including the number of men and women over 15 with a high body mass index, gross national income, a country's Gini coefficient (an indicator of income inequality), urbanization, motor-vehicle and internet use.
The conclusions, published in the journal Critical Public Health (De Vogli, Kouvonen & Gimeno, 2011), are clear: the density of Subway's outlets is positively associated with the prevalence of obesity across 26 advanced economies in both men and women. Even after adjusting for the other factors, co