Fat man

A new study by researchers working for the World Health Organisation (WHO) has claimed that the bigger the supermarkets are in an area, the more likely the local population is to be obese.

The report, led by Dr Adrian Cameron of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, found what it described as a “strong correlation between average store size and national obesity prevalence” and claimed the cause could be families making fewer shopping trips to larger stores where they are stocking up with more, and less healthy, food than shoppers at their c-store equivalents.

With information gathered from 170 supermarkets across eight cities, including eight stores in England, the authors said: “Large supermarkets may represent a food system that focuses on quantity ahead of quality, and therefore may be an important and novel environmental indicator of a pattern of behaviour that encourages obesity.”