The food retail environment in school neighborhoods and its relation to lunchtime eating behaviors in youth from three countries

Mariane Héroux, Ronald J Iannotti, Dorothy Bruce Currie, William William Pickett, Ian Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study examined the relation between the chain food retail environment surrounding schools, youths' lunchtime eating behavior, and youths' obesity levels across three countries. Participants consisted of 26,778 students 13–15 years old from 687 schools across Canada, Scotland and the US. The density of convenience stores, chain fast food restaurants, and chain cafés within 1 km of each school was measured. Lunchtime eating behaviors, weight, and height were self-reported. Although the density of chain food retailers was highest in the US, fewer American students (2.6%) routinely ate their lunch at a food retailer during the school week than did Canadian (7.7%) and Scottish (43.7%) students. The density of chain food retailers was associated with eating lunch at a food retailer in Canada only whereby students attending schools with 1–2, 3–4, and 5+ chain food retailers within 1 km from their schools were 1.39 (95% CI: 0.84–2.29), 1.87 (95% CI: 1.10–3.20), and 2.50 (95% CI: 1.56–4.01) times more likely to eat at a chain food retailer compared to students attending schools with no nearby chain food retailers. No associations were found between chain food retailer density and obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240–1247
Number of pages8
JournalHealth & Place
Volume18
Issue number6
Early online date15 Sept 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Food retail environment
  • Lunchtime eating behavior
  • Obesity
  • School
  • Youth

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