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To explore changes in urban food environments near schools, as potential contributors to the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity among children.
Addresses of food premises and schools in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 were geo-coded. For each year, the number and proportion of outlets by category (supermarket/grocery; convenience; fast-food outlet) within 800 m of schools were calculated. The degree of spatial clustering of outlets was assessed using a bivariate K-function analysis. Food outlet categories, school level and school social deprivation quintiles were compared.
Christchurch, New Zealand.
All schools and food outlets at 10-year snapshots from 1966 to 2006.
Between 1966 and 2006, the median number of supermarkets/grocery stores within 800 m of schools decreased from 5 to 1, convenience stores decreased from 2 to 1, and fast-food outlets increased from 1 to 4. The ratio of fast-food outlets to total outlets increased from 0·10 to 0·67. The clustering of fast-food outlets was greatest within 800 m of schools and around the most socially deprived schools. Over the 40-year study period, school food environments in Christchurch can be characterized by increased densities of fast-food outlets within walking distance of schools, especially around the most deprived schools.
Since the 1960s, there have been substantial changes to the food environments around schools which may increasingly facilitate away-from-home food consumption for children and provide easily accessible, cheap energy-dense foods, a recognized contributor to the rise in prevalence of overweight and obesity among young people.
To investigate the associations between sociodemographic factors and both diet indicators and food security among socio-economically disadvantaged populations in two different (national) contextual settings.
Logistic regression was used to determine cross-sectional associations between nationality, marital status, presence of children in the household, education, employment status and household income (four low income categories) with daily fruit and vegetable consumption, low-fat milk consumption and food security.
Socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the UK and Australia.
Two samples of low-income women from disadvantaged neighbourhoods: (i) in the UK, the 2003–05 Low Income Diet and Nutrition Survey (LIDNS; n 643); and (ii) in Australia, the 2007–08 Resilience for Eating and Activity Despite Inequality (READI; n 1340).
The influence of nationality, marital status and children in the household on the dietary outcomes varied between the two nations. Obtaining greater education qualifications was the most telling factor associated with healthier dietary behaviours. Being employed was positively associated with low-fat milk consumption in both nations and with fruit consumption in the UK, while income was not associated with dietary behaviours in either nation. In Australia, the likelihood of being food secure was higher among those who were born outside Australia, married, employed or had a greater income, while higher income was the only significant factor in the UK.
The identification of factors that differently influence dietary behaviours and food security in socio-economically disadvantaged populations in the UK and Australia suggests continued efforts need to be made to ensure that interventions and policy responses are informed by the best available local evidence.
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