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Health Place. 2009 Mar;15(1):364-73. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

Inequality in obesigenic environments: fast food density in New York City.

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  • 1Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W. 168th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The high prevalence of obesity in African American populations may be due to the food environment in residential communities, and the density of fast food restaurants is an important aspect of the restaurant landscape in US cities. This study investigated racial and socioeconomic correlates of fast food density in New York City. We found that predominantly Black areas had higher densities of fast food than predominantly White areas; high-income Black areas had similar exposure as low-income Black areas; and national chains were most dense in commercial areas. The results highlight the importance of policy level interventions to address disparities in food environments as a key goal in obesity prevention efforts.

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