RWJF-Supported Study Details Children's Easy Access to Unhealthy Foods
A third of public secondary schools nationwide have at least one fast food restaurant or convenience store within walking distance, according to a study in the journal Health and Place. The first national study of its kind examined more than 31,000 schools in all 50 states and over 1,700 schools in the 20 largest cities. Results highlight the disparities that exist in the availability of healthy foods: schools in low-income neighborhoods have twice as many convenience stores nearby as do schools in high income neighborhoods, and nearly 50 percent more fast food restaurants. Additionally, urban neighborhoods with a high school have more fast food restaurants than neighborhoods without a secondary school. Shannon Zenk, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., and Lisa Powell, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Bridging the Gap national research program, co-authored the study.
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