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Health Place. 2009 Sep;15(3):903-7. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.11.001. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Density and type of food retailers surrounding Canadian schools: variations across socioeconomic status.

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  • 1Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6.


Lower socioeconomic status (SES) neighbourhoods may have differential access to food retailers, potentially explaining the varying area-level obesity rates. The food retail environment around 188 schools across Canada was examined, including full-service restaurants, fast food restaurants, sub/sandwich retailers, donut/coffee shops, convenience stores, and grocery stores. School addresses were linked to census data to obtain area-level SES measures. Access to food retailers was generally not associated with the neighbourhood SES in the immediate proximity. Within the broader neighbourhood, lower SES neighbourhoods had access to fewer food retailers of all types. This effect was diminished after taking population density into account.

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