Should we be concerned about food outlets near schools… or not?
Fast food outlets near schools are unpopular in many quarters, including Birmingham’s Public Health team. However a report published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity suggests that these concerns might not be justified.
The authors conclude that there is:
no evidence of a positive association between the number of food outlets or the proximity to the nearest food outlet and childhood obesity…, when controlling for SES. Of particular importance is that this was true for all types of food outlet including takeaways and fast food outlets
That’s not to say that fast food isn’t cause for concern, as children who consume fast food have higher energy and fat intakes, However a simple focus on exposure to fast food outlets might be a red herring.
An interesting comment on our blog about the tensions between the economic and health impact of food questions how we can actively encourage food outlets to evolve in the right direction for nutritional health.