Food access and children’s BMI in Toronto, Ontario: assessing how the food environment relates to overweight and obesity.
Sommaire de l'article
The objective was to examine how access to fast food restaurants, less healthy/healthier food outlets and supermarkets relate to measured levels of overweight and obesity among grade 5 and 6 students.
Measured height and weight data were obtained to measure BMI. The location and type of food outlet were derived from Toronto Public Health. The density of fast food, less healthy/healthy food outlets and supermarkets within a 1-km walk of the child's home was calculated along with the distance to the closest. Logistic regression models examined the relationship between food access and overweight/obesity.
Lower income residents were more likely to be overweight or obese, as were boys. Living in an area with a higher density of healthy food outlets and in close proximity to a supermarket decreased the odds of being overweight or obese.
Addressing several limitations in the literature, the findings confirm an association between the food retail environment and body weight. Density of healthy food outlets and distance to the nearest supermarket are important factors to be considered in addressing the childhood obesity pandemic.