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Am J Health Promot. 2014 May-Jun;28(5):340-3. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.111201-QUAN-437. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Local concentration of fast-food outlets is associated with poor nutrition and obesity.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We investigated the relationship of the local availability of fast-food restaurant locations with diet and obesity.

DESIGN:

We geocoded addresses of survey respondents and fast-food restaurant locations to assess the association between the local concentration of fast-food outlets, BMI, and fruit and vegetable consumption.

SETTING:

The survey was conducted in Genesee County, Michigan.

SUBJECTS:

There were 1345 individuals included in this analysis, and the response rate was 25%.

MEASURES:

The Speak to Your Health! Community Survey included fruit and vegetable consumption items from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, height, weight, and demographics. We used ArcGIS to map fast-food outlets and survey respondents.

ANALYSIS:

Stepwise linear regressions identified unique predictors of body mass index (BMI) and fruit and vegetable consumption.

RESULTS:

Survey respondents had 8 ± 7 fast-food outlets within 2 miles of their home. Individuals living in close proximity to fast-food restaurants had higher BMIs t(1342) = 3.21, p < .001, and lower fruit and vegetable consumption, t(1342) = 2.67, p = .008.

CONCLUSION:

Individuals may be at greater risk for adverse consequences of poor nutrition because of the patterns in local food availability, which may constrain the success of nutrition promotion efforts. Efforts to decrease the local availability of unhealthy foods as well as programs to help consumers identify strategies for obtaining healthy meals at fast-food outlets may improve health outcomes.

PMID:
23941104
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.111201-QUAN-437
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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