Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NYC public school students have high levels of access to convenience stores with unhealthy food, study finds

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
A new study examined the patterns of exposure to a broad range of food outlets for school children in New York City. The data confirm that nearly all New York City public school students have access to inexpensive, energy-dense foods within a five-minute walk of New York City's public schools.

Most studies of the food choices available near public schools have focused on fast food outlets rather than the full range of options available to schoolchildren. A new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health examined the patterns of exposure to a broad range of food outlets for school children in New York City.

Related Articles


The study, "Disparities in the Food Environments of New York City Public Schools," is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and cited as the "Editor's Choice" in the September issue.

Using 2006-2007 data for New York City school locations, the paper describes the prevalence of five types of food outlets near schools. These included national chain and local fast-food restaurants, pizzerias, small grocery stores or bodegas, and convenience stores within 400 meters (437 yards) of public schools.

The researchers found that 92.9% of students had a small grocery store within 400 meters of their school; these stores typically carry fewer healthy food options than larger grocery stores. In addition, 70.6% had a pizzeria within 400 meters, 48.9 % were that close to a convenience store, 43.2% were within 400 m. of a national chain fast-food restaurant, such as McDonald's or Burger King, and 33.9% were within 400 m. of a local fast-food chain restaurant.

"The data confirm that nearly all New York City public school students have access to inexpensive, energy-dense foods within a 5-minute walk of New York City's public schools," reported Andrew Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School, and senior author.

The study also examined disparities by economic status and race/ethnicity in access to these food outlets, and evaluated the extent to which these disparities are explained by school neighborhoods.

Racial/ethnic minority and low-income students were more likely to attend schools with unhealthy food outlets nearby. Bodegas were the most common source of unhealthy food, with an average of nearly 10 bodegas within 400 m. While more research is needed to analyze the items sold from a nutritional standpoint, it is apparent that small grocery stores offer high caloric foods at very tempting prices.

"Our data points to the fact that children who are at an economic disadvantage tend to have more small groceries in close daytime proximity which could affect their food intake and health over the long term," says Dr. Rundle. "A comprehensive understanding of the food available to schoolchildren is critical for policies aimed at promoting healthy eating among children, whether this means passing zoning laws to limit fast food, adding more healthy choices in existing food outlets, using pricing to promote consumption of healthy foods, or implementing closed-campus lunch policies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathryn M. Neckerman, Michael D.M. Bader, Catherine A. Richards, Marnie Purciel, James W. Quinn, Juli Simon Thomas, Caitlin Warbelow, Christopher C. Weiss, Gina S. Lovasi, Andrew Rundle. Disparities in the Food Environments of New York City Public Schools. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010; 39 (3): 195 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.05.004

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "NYC public school students have high levels of access to convenience stores with unhealthy food, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922132006.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2010, September 22). NYC public school students have high levels of access to convenience stores with unhealthy food, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922132006.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "NYC public school students have high levels of access to convenience stores with unhealthy food, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922132006.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins