Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neighborhood fast food availability related to an individual's fast food consumption

Date:
July 12, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Living near fast-food restaurants appears related to an individual's consumption of these foods whereas living near grocery stores and supermarkets appears generally unrelated to dietary quality, according to a new study.

Living near fast-food restaurants appears related to an individual's consumption of these foods whereas living near grocery stores and supermarkets appears generally unrelated to dietary quality, according to a report in the July 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


The federal government has made one of its priorities reducing "food deserts," areas in which healthy food is difficult to find, according to background information in the article. "Such policies stem from limited evidence that food resources are related to obesity and are inequitably allocated according to neighborhood wealth," write the authors. "Implicit in these policy initiatives is that reduced access to fast food and increased access to supermarkets will translate into improvements in diet behavior and health."

Janne Boone-Heinonen, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues assessed this assumption using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, from its baseline in 1985 until 2001. The authors evaluated fast food consumption, diet quality and adherence to fruit-and-vegetable-consumption guidelines as a function of fast food chain, supermarket or grocery store availability within distances of less than one kilometer to more than eight kilometers from study participants' homes. The 5,115 participants (ages 18 to 30 years at baseline) in Birmingham, Ala.; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Oakland were asked how often they ate fast food, and detailed their food consumption during the prior month as well as usual dietary habits.

Among participants at lower income levels, an association between fast food consumption and fast food availability was observed. This relationship was particularly noticeable among men who had access to fast food between one and three kilometers from where they live. The findings did not suggest strong relationships between supermarkets and diet quality or consumption of fruits and vegetables. Availability of grocery stores had a mixed relationship with eating habits.

"These findings have critical implications for existing and proposed policies aimed at improving access to healthy foods," write the researchers. "Overall, classification of food stores and restaurants into 'healthy' or 'unhealthy' according to mode of service (fast food or sit-down) or size (supermarket vs. grocery store) may provide little understanding of how the food environment impacts diet and may overlook innovative policy solutions." The authors call for further research into the effect of the neighborhood food environment on diet and consumption.

Commentary: Food Deserts or Food Swamps?

An accompanying commentary by Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., and Paul A. Simon, M.D., M.P.H., from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the University of California, Los Angeles, provides perspective on the findings by Boone-Heinonen and colleagues. The association between fast food consumption and availability is relevant to an effort that Los Angeles has initiated to limit fast food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods, they write. Fielding and Simon also speculate whether inclusion of data about food quality, pricing and merchandising might provide more conclusive evidence about the relationship between supermarket availability and dietary behaviors.

"The greatest challenge in this area of research is how to address the complexity of local food environments," they state. "In many disadvantaged communities, the food environment is more swamp than desert, with a plethora of fast food; convenience stores selling calorie-dense packaged foods, super-sized sodas, and other sugar-loaded beverages; and other nonfood retail venues selling junk food as a side activity." Reducing access to these products, remark Fielding and Simon, may do more to reduce obesity than might increasing access to healthy foods. "Given the complexity of food environments," they conclude, "it will be important to identify those combinations of interventions that together generate meaningful improvements in dietary practices at the population level and reduce the huge disparities in overweight and obesity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. J. Boone-Heinonen, P. Gordon-Larsen, C. I. Kiefe, J. M. Shikany, C. E. Lewis, B. M. Popkin. Fast Food Restaurants and Food Stores: Longitudinal Associations With Diet in Young to Middle-aged Adults: The CARDIA Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011; 171 (13): 1162 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.283
  2. J. E. Fielding, P. A. Simon. Food Deserts or Food Swamps?: Comment on "Fast Food Restaurants and Food Stores". Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011; 171 (13): 1171 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.279

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Neighborhood fast food availability related to an individual's fast food consumption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712191914.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, July 12). Neighborhood fast food availability related to an individual's fast food consumption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712191914.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Neighborhood fast food availability related to an individual's fast food consumption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712191914.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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