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To determine whether living in a food swamp (≥4 corner stores within 0·40 km (0·25 miles) of home) or a food desert (generally, no supermarket or access to healthy foods) is associated with consumption of snacks/desserts or fruits/vegetables, and if neighbourhood-level socio-economic status (SES) confounds relationships.
Cross-sectional. Assessments included diet (Youth/Adolescent FFQ, skewed dietary variables normalized) and measured height/weight (BMI-for-age percentiles/Z-scores calculated). A geographic information system geocoded home addresses and mapped food deserts/food swamps. Associations examined using multiple linear regression (MLR) models adjusting for age and BMI-for-age Z-score.
Baltimore City, MD, USA.
Early adolescent girls (6th/7th grade, n 634; mean age 12·1 years; 90·7 % African American; 52·4 % overweight/obese), recruited from twenty-two urban, low-income schools.
Girls’ consumption of fruit, vegetables and snacks/desserts: 1·2, 1·7 and 3·4 servings/d, respectively. Girls’ food environment: 10·4 % food desert only, 19·1 % food swamp only, 16·1 % both food desert/swamp and 54·4 % neither food desert/swamp. Average median neighbourhood-level household income: $US 35 298. In MLR models, girls living in both food deserts/swamps consumed additional servings of snacks/desserts v. girls living in neither (β=0·13, P=0·029; 3·8 v. 3·2 servings/d). Specifically, girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls who did not (β=0·16, P=0·003; 3·7 v. 3·1 servings/d), with no confounding effect of neighbourhood-level SES. No associations were identified with food deserts or consumption of fruits/vegetables.
Early adolescent girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls not living in food swamps. Dietary interventions should consider the built environment/food access when addressing adolescent dietary behaviours.
Necessity, it is often said, is the mother of invention. However, in the context of international law, and the tribunals which apply and interpret it, perhaps it is more appropriate to say that necessity is the source of an exception, one that is meant to preclude the wrongfulness of conduct by States in times of crisis, when the conduct in question results in a breach of international law. Indeed, the invocation of the necessity doctrine as a defence has linked such diverse governmental interests as fur seal trading, food supplies, provisions for troops and government bonds. Over its history, the necessity doctrine – and its legal antecedents – has encompassed a variety of emergencies giving rise to the necessity designation, key among them being the environmental and financial needs of the State.
The necessity doctrine has been analysed by the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) and several international tribunals. Recently, it has also been the subject of several investment cases regarding emergency measures taken by the Argentine government earlier this decade (the Argentine cases). The cases against Argentina constitute a significant part of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) arbitral work today – as of August 2010, out of a total of 125 cases pending before the ICSID, 27 were filed against Argentina; the majority of which relate to the Argentine financial crisis and involve the necessity doctrine at some level. Despite the many instances in which the doctrine has been invoked in the Argentine context, the ‘Argentine tribunals’ have been inconsistent in their interpretation and application of the necessity doctrine. This inconsistency has been described as potentially damaging as such conflicting results may lead to credibility loss and instability within the investment arbitration system. Furthermore, conflicting results also generate uncertainty regarding the right use of the necessity doctrine during crises.
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