Are All Proximity Effects Created Equal? Fast Food Near Schools and Body Weight Among Diverse Adolescents
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 1-47, 2012
Posted: 29 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 28, 2012
Prior research demonstrates that the proximity of fast-food restaurants to schools is related to higher youth body weight and also suggests that this relationship may be stronger in urban areas. Research also suggests that some segments of youth may be more vulnerable to this relationship than others. We investigate the relationship of fast-food proximity to middle and high schools and adolescent weight outcomes, with a focus on understanding intra-urban differences across groups defined by ethnicity and school income. Results suggest that body weight associations with proximity to a fast-food restaurant from school are not equal for all youth. Black and Hispanic students at low-income and urban schools have higher associations between school-fast food distance and youth body weight, up to four times greater than general distance associations. We discuss findings in light of the complexity of understanding the relationship between retail marketing proximity and weight-related associations among youth, as well as obesity disparities.
Keywords: adolescent obesity, fast food, urban, ethnic minorities, low income
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