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Prev Med. 2008 Apr;46(4):331-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.011. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Children's fruit and vegetable intake: associations with the neighbourhood food environment.

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  • 1Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.



To examine associations between availability of different types of food outlets and children's fruit and vegetable intake.


Parents of 340 5-6 and 461 10-12 year-old Australian children reported how frequently their child ate 14 fruits and 13 vegetables in the last week in 2002/3. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to determine the availability of the following types of food outlets near home: greengrocers; supermarkets; convenience stores; fast food outlets; restaurants, caf├ęs and takeaway outlets. Logistic regression analyses examined the likelihood of consuming fruit >or=2 times/day and vegetables >or=3 times/day, according to access to food outlets.


Overall, 62.5% of children ate fruit >or=2 times/day and 46.4% ate vegetables >or=3 times/day. The more fast food outlets (OR=0.82, 95%CI=0.67-0.99) and convenience stores (OR=0.84, 95%CI=0.73-0.98) close to home, the lower the likelihood of consuming fruit >or=2 times/day. There was also an inverse association between density of convenience stores and the likelihood of consuming vegetables >or=3 times/day (OR=0.84, 95%CI=0.74-0.95). The likelihood of consuming vegetables >or=3 times/day was greater the farther children lived from a supermarket (OR=1.27, 95%CI=1.07-1.51) or a fast food outlet (OR=1.19, 95%CI=1.06-1.35).


Availability of fast food outlets and convenience stores close to home may have a negative effect on children's fruit and vegetable intake.

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