Study ranks Birmingham with high number of fast food joints

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -  A new study ranks cities with populations over 200,000 and came up with a list of the top 10 with the highest ration of chain fast food restaurants to population. Birmingham ranks in the top 10 cities with the highest fast food saturation.

A UAB nutritionist, Beth Kitchin, says with so many fast food restaurants, fast food consumption is also very high in Birmingham.

"This is something that researchers call a toxic food environment," said Kitchin. "That means we have high calorie, high fat foods that are cheap that we can get quickly, and it creates an environment that fosters obesity."

Many Birmingham residents admit to visiting the drive-thru lane multiple times a week and say the cheap prices and convenience make fast food appealing. However, Kitchin advises people to opt for healthier fast food options and reduce portion size to avoid a strain on their waistlines.

"Instead of getting the huge fries get the smaller one," said Kitchin. "Instead of a huge hamburger, get a smaller one, and you would be amazed at the dent you can make in your calories and fat just by doing that."

The highest ranked city is Orlando, FL, followed by Louisville, KY, Richmond, VA, Miami, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Tampa, FL, Baton Rouge, LA, Cincinnati, OH, Spokane, WA, and Birmingham.  

The most common fast food restaurant in Birmingham is Subway.

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