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Spat Spatiotemporal Epidemiol. 2014 Oct;11:23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.sste.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 19.

Geographic access to healthy and unhealthy food sources for children in neighbourhoods and from elementary schools in a mid-sized Canadian city.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Electronic address: rachel.engler-stringer@usask.ca.
2
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Electronic address: tayyab.shah@usask.ca.
3
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Electronic address: scott.bell@usask.ca.
4
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Electronic address: nazeem.muhajarine@usask.ca.

Abstract

We examined location-related accessibility to healthy and unhealthy food sources for school going children in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We compared proximity to food sources from school sites and from small clusters of homes (i.e., dissemination blocks) as a proxy for home location. We found that (1) unhealthy food sources are more prevalent near schools in lower income than higher income neighbourhoods; (2) unhealthy compared to healthy food sources are more accessible from schools as well as from places of residence; and (3) while some characteristics of neighbourhood low socio-economic status are associated with less accessibility to healthy food sources, there is no consistent pattern of access. Greater access to unhealthy food sources from schools in low-income neighbourhoods is likely a reflection of the greater degree of commercialization. Our spatial examination provides a more nuanced understanding of accessibility through our approach of comparing place of residence and school access to food sources.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Food environment; Geographical information systems; Nutrition

PMID:
25457594
DOI:
10.1016/j.sste.2014.07.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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