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To assess the association of obesogenic environmental characteristics around schools with body adiposity and adipokine concentrations in Brazilian children.
Cross-sectional study. Body adiposity was assessed using the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Concentrations of leptin, adiponectin, retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) and chemerin were measured. Predominantly ultra-processed food (UPF) stores, public physical activity (PA) facilities, green spaces, walkability, traffic accidents and crime were evaluated. The neighbourhood unit was the 400 m (0·25 miles) road network buffer around schools. The association of environmental characteristics with body adiposity and adipokine concentrations was assessed by linear regression models using generalised estimating equations.
A higher density of predominantly UPF stores and a lower percentage of green space were associated with higher total (β: 0·12; 95 % CI 0·06, 0·18 and β: –0·10; 95 % CI –0·16, –0·04, respectively) and android body fat (β: 0·28; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·43 and β: –0·18; 95 % CI –0·32, –0·04, respectively). In addition, the densities of PA facilities and crime were inversely associated with leptin concentrations. Traffic accidents density and percentage of green spaces around schools had, respectively, a positive and an inverse association with concentrations of adiponectin and RBP4.
Obesogenic environmental characteristics around schools were associated with total and android body fat, as well as with pro-inflammatory adipokine concentrations in Brazilian children from a medium-sized city.
To evaluate the association between the consumption of NOVA food groups (classification based on the nature, extent and purpose of food processing) and the intake of energy, macro and micronutrients among school children.
Cross-sectional study. Food consumption was assessed by two 24-h dietary recalls on non-consecutive days. Energy from each NOVA food groups – ultra-processed foods, unprocessed or minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients and processed foods – was estimated. For analysis, the percentage of energy from ultra-processed foods and unprocessed or minimally processed foods were categorised into tertiles and associated with intake of energy, macro and micronutrients using analysis of covariance and linear regression.
Public schools in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
School children aged 8–12 years (n 797; 406 girls; 391 boys).
Mean energy intake was 2050·18 ± 966·83 kcal/d, 25·8 % was from ultra-processed foods, 56·7 % from unprocessed or minimally processed foods, 8·9 % from processed culinary ingredients and 8·6 % from processed foods. A higher energy contribution from ultra-processed foods was negatively associated with the intake of protein, fibre, vitamin A, Fe and Zn (P < 0·001) and positively associated with total energy, lipid and Na intake (P < 0·001). Concurrently, a higher energy contribution from unprocessed or minimally processed foods was positively associated with the consumption of protein, fibre, Fe and Zn (P < 0·001) and negatively associated with total energy (P = 0·002), lipid and Na intake (P < 0·001).
In conclusion, higher ultra-processed food consumption presented a negative association with the nutrient intake profile of school children.
To examine the association between economic residential segregation and food environment.
Ecological: Food stores categorised according to the NOVA classification were geocoded, and absolute availability was calculated for each neighbourhood. Segregation was measured using local Gi* statistic, a measure of the sd between the economic composition of a neighbourhood (the proportion of heads of households in neighbourhoods earn monthly income of 0 to 3 minimum wages) and larger metropolitan area, weighted by the economic composition of surrounding neighbourhoods. Segregation was categorised as high (most segregated), medium (integrated) and low (less segregated or integrated). A proportional odds models were used to model the association between segregation and food environment.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
After adjustment for covariates, neighbourhoods characterised by high economic segregation had fewer food stores overall compared with neighbourhoods characterised by low segregation (OR = 0·56; 95 % CI (0·45, 0·69)). In addition, high segregated neighbourhoods were 49 % (OR = 0·51; 95 % CI (0·42, 0·61)) and 45 % (OR = 0·55; 95 % CI (0·45, 0·67)) less likely to have a high number of food stores that predominantly marketed ultra-processed foods and mixed food stores, respectively, as compared with their counterparts.
Economic segregation is associated with differences in the distribution of food stores. Both low and high segregation territories should be prioritised by public policies to ensure healthy and adequate nutrition as a right for all communities. The former must continue to be protected from access to unhealthy commercial food outlets, while the latter must be the locus of actions that limit the availability of unhealthy commercial food store.
To examine the association between urban food environment and regular consumption of fruits and vegetables (FV) by older adults from a medium-sized Brazilian city.
Cross-sectional study based on data related to (1) objective assessment of establishments with predominant sale of unprocessed/minimally processed foods, mixed establishments and establishments with predominant sale of ultra-processed foods; (2) regular consumption of FV (≥ 5 times/week), health and socio-demographic variables of community-dwelling older adults. Tertiles of proximity between food establishments and older adults’ residence were calculated. Poisson generalised estimating equations with robust variance, adjusted for individual and contextual variables, were used to estimate the independent association between the proximity of establishments and regular consumption of FV.
Medium-sized Brazilian city.
Representative sample of community-dwelling older adults (n 549).
Older adults travelled the longest distances to establishments with predominant sale of unprocessed/minimally processed foods. The longer the distance to establishments with predominant sale of unprocessed/minimally processed foods, the lower the prevalence of regular consumption of FV (tertile 2: prevalence ratio (PR) = 0·86; 95 % CI = 0·74, 0·99; tertile 3: PR = 0·84; 95 % CI = 0·72, 0·97). Older adults living larger distance tertiles from establishments with predominant sale of ultra-processed foods, mixed establishments or all categories of establishments had 16 % (PR = 0·84; 95 % CI = 0·73, 0·96), 19 % (PR = 0·81; 95 % CI = 0·71, 0·93) and 19 % (PR = 0·81; 95 % CI = 0·70, 0·94) lower prevalence of regular consumption of FV, respectively.
The food environment is associated with regular consumption of FV among older adults. Longer distances from the residence of older adults to food establishments are independently associated with lower prevalence of regular consumption of FV.
To verify differences in the availability, variety, quality and price of unprocessed and ultra-processed foods in supermarkets and similar establishments in neighbourhoods with different social deprivation levels at Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The Obesogenic Environment Study in São Paulo’s Food Store Observation Tool (ESAO-S) was applied in thirty-three supermarket chains, wholesale and retail supermarkets.
Fruits, vegetables and ultra-processed foods were available in almost all establishments, without differences according to Health Vulnerability Index (HVI; which varies from 0 to 1 point and the higher the worse; P > 0·05). Most establishments were concentrated in low vulnerability areas and offered healthy foods with greater variety and quality, despite higher prices. The Healthy Food Store Index (HFSI; which varies from 0 to 16 points and the higher the best) was calculated from the ESAO-S and the mean score was 8·91 (sd 1·51). The presence and variety of unprocessed foods count as positive points, as do the absence of ultra-processed products. When HFSI was stratified by HVI, low HVI neighbourhoods presented higher HFSI scores, compared with medium, high and very high HVI neighbourhoods (P = 0·001).
Supermarkets and similar establishments are less dense in areas of greater social deprivation and have lower prices of healthy foods, but the variety and quality of those foods are worse, compared with areas of low vulnerability. We found worse HFSI for supermarkets located in areas with greater vulnerability. Those findings can guide specific public policies improving the urban food environment.
To estimate usual diets among Brazilian children regarding the consumption of school meals and social vulnerability risks.
A cross-sectional study. School meal consumers were considered those children who reported consuming school meals ≥3 times/week. Social vulnerability risk was classified by an index. Dietary intake was evaluated by one 24 h dietary recall for the whole sample; a second 24 h dietary recall was administered in a sub-sample (38·6 %). The National Cancer Institute’s method was used to estimate children’s usual intake of nutrients and food groups.
Municipal public schools from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Children (n 1357) aged 8–12 years.
Half of the sample lived in low/medium social vulnerability risk areas and 27·9 % were school meal non-consumers. School meal consumers more frequently lived in high/very high social vulnerability risk areas (76·2 v. 68·7 %). Children with low/medium social vulnerability risk had a higher mean intake of thiamin (1·13 v. 1·04 mg) and a lower mean intake of candy (1·35 v. 1·42 g). Consumption of school meals among children under high/very high social vulnerability risk was associated with higher mean consumption of vitamin C (31·9 v. 24·1 mg), unprocessed/minimally processed foods (956·3 v. 851·9 g), fruits (128·5 v. 90·9 g) and vegetables (58·2 v. 47·1 g). Ultra-processed food product consumption was lower among school meal consumers (136·2 v. 187·7 g), especially ultra-processed beverages (252·5 v. 305·7 g).
Consuming school meals was associated with a better usual diet quality, particularly among those with higher social vulnerability risk.
To investigate the relationship between social deprivation and the food environment. Furthermore, to evaluate if the food environment is associated with the prevalence of obesity among students in Brazilian public schools.
Cross-sectional. For the classification of obesity, weight and height were measured, and the cut-off point of BMI-for-age Z-score >+2 was adopted. Social deprivation level was determined from the Health Vulnerability Index (HVI). To assess the food environment, the density of food establishments in urban residential areas was calculated. Associations between the food environment and the presence of obesity were estimated by binary logistic regression through a generalized estimating equations model.
Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Children and adolescents (n 661) aged 7–14 years.
The lowest social deprivation level showed a higher density of all types of establishments that sold predominantly unhealthy foods. An inverse association was found between the density of supermarkets and hypermarkets and the presence of obesity (OR=0·58; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·93). For the other categories of food retailers, no significant differences were found.
The findings reinforce the need for public policies that promote equality in the food environments of the city. Also, further investigations into the influence of the presence of supermarkets on the nutritional status of children and adolescents are required.
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