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US Secondary Schools and Food Outlets

Zenk S and Powell LM. Health and Place, 14: 336-346, 2008.

We examined the availability of fast food restaurants and convenience stores within walking distance (0.5 miles or 805 m) of US public secondary schools. We found that one-third of schools nationwide have at least one fast food restaurant or convenience store within walking distance. In multivariate analyses, schools in the lowest-income versus the highest-income neighborhoods have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores, while schools in African-American versus White neighborhoods generally have fewer food outlets. Furthermore, urban neighborhoods with a high school versus no secondary school have more food outlets. Curbing the obesity epidemic among adolescents requires addressing the food environment surrounding schools.

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