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To examine associations between availability of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in the home and school neighbourhoods, considered separately and together, and adolescents’ fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intakes.
Cross-sectional observational study.
East London, UK.
Adolescents (n 3089; aged 13–15 years) from the Olympic Regeneration in East London (ORiEL) Study self-reported their weekly frequency of fast-food and SSB consumption. We used food business addresses collected from local authority registers to derive absolute (counts) and relative (proportions) exposure measures to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores within 800 m from home, school, and home and school combined. Associations between absolute and relative measures of the food environment and fast-food and SSB intakes were assessed using Poisson regression models with robust standard errors.
Absolute exposure to fast-food restaurants or convenience stores in the home, school, or combined home and school neighbourhoods was not associated with any of the outcomes. High SSB intake was associated with relative exposure to convenience stores in the residential neighbourhood (risk ratio=1·45; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·96) and in the home and school neighbourhoods combined (risk ratio=1·69; 95 % CI 1·11, 2·57).
We found no evidence of an association between absolute exposure to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores around home and school and adolescents’ fast-food and SSB intakes. Relative exposure, which measures the local diversity of the neighbourhood food environment, was positively associated with SSB intake. Relative measures of the food environment may better capture the environmental risks for poor diet than absolute measures.
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