Navigation Links
Fast-Food Outlets Near Schools May Not Be Making Teens Fat
Date:6/16/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- If a new survey of high school teens in Maine is any indication, locating fast-food outlets near schools may not actually affect students' chances of being overweight.

The survey polled more than 550 students in grades 9 through 12 at 11 schools throughout the state.

On the one hand, it revealed that most teens in the state are indeed consumers of fast-food staples such as burgers, fries, pizza and soft drinks. But it also indicated that the pull toward unhealthful food among these teens appears to be a function of generally bad dietary habits and poor nutritional knowledge, rather than the location of fast-food outlets.

"Our hypothesis was that the so-called 'built environment' -- what a person's environment around them might be -- would have an influence on the [teens'] diet and obesity rate," explained study co-author Janet Whatley Blum, an associate professor in the department of exercise, health and sports science at the University of Southern Maine. "But in terms of their school environment, we did not find that," she said.

"We think the reason for that is that the availability of unhealthy foods is basically ubiquitous," Blum noted. "So while the students said they do go and buy it around their schools, they also said that they also get that same food from home and from local stores near their home. So whether or not fast-food places are near to their schools really doesn't change the overall situation."

Blum and her colleagues report their findings in the July/August issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

The investigators found that about 25 percent of the students were either overweight or obese, and slightly less than 2 percent were underweight. Half of the students said they drank soda at least once a week, and one in 10 said they drank it every day. About two-thirds said they'd been to an outlet that served burgers and fries in the past month, and half had been to a pizza restaurant.

Fast-food outlets were located within about a half-mile of eight of the 11 schools, according to the survey, and 10 schools had stores nearby that sold soft drinks.

However, the researchers' statistical analysis found no correlation between a risk for being overweight and the proximity of fast-food restaurants to the teens' respective schools.

"This finding suggests that maybe we should be doing more to educate kids as to the impact of unhealthful food," Blum said.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, said that the findings were "surprising, yet not surprising."

"Knowledge is power," Sandon said. "Offering the knowledge of what foods are health-promoting and beneficial is certainly the first place to start. But behavior based on knowledge and the built environment both impact food choices. The question is, what has the biggest impact?

"In this case, they're saying the built environment around these teens is less impactful than what the children know about nutrition, and also less impactful perhaps than what's going on in the home," she said.

The home environment, Sandon stressed, plays a critical role.

"Past research has looked at what students bring to school when they bring their own lunch, and it's actually often less nutritious than if they ate a school lunch, which means that what's going on in the home is often worse in terms of giving kids a sense of what to do in terms of making healthy food decisions," she said. "And that might explain these findings."

Sandon suggested that "if we focus on informing kids as to how best to think about what they're eating, that may be a more impactful way to affect their decisions than trying to change the built environment around them."

More information

The Nemours Foundation offers more on teens and nutrition.

SOURCES: Janet Whatley Blum, Sc.D., associate professor, department of exercise, health and sports science, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine; Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor, clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; July/August 2011, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Calorie Labels Dont Affect Kids Fast-Food Choices
2. Calorie Intake Rises When Fast-Food Restaurants Nearby: Study
3. Governor Rendell Proposes Budget With No Tax Increase, More Money for Public Schools, Strategy for Jobs, Plan to Address Future Deficits
4. Global Health Defined as Public Health in a New Lancet Commentary by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH)
5. National Network of Digital Schools, SlateXP and UMPS CARE Raise $75,000 for Children
6. At Risk Children Receive Free Dental Services at Communities In Schools Clinic
7. Eliminating junk foods at schools may help prevent childhood obesity
8. Michael A. Stephens Appointed Senior Policy Director at Association of Schools of Public Health
9. Beverage Industry Delivers On Commitment to Remove Regular Soft Drinks In Schools, Driving 88% Decline In Calories
10. New Lucian Leape Institute Report Finds That U.S. Medical Schools Are Falling Short in Teaching Physicians How to Provide Safe Patient Care
11. "Teen Toxing”: Dangerous Trend Developing in UK Schools
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fast-Food Outlets Near Schools May Not Be Making Teens Fat
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 creative teams ... Family Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National Red Ribbon ... winning schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme: “YOLO. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Northridge ... in-house dental plan for all patients. Understanding that budget can play a part ... a number of perks, including discounts on many valuable dental treatments. Options for ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... in the 2016 Deloitte Wisconsin 75, an annual ranking and recognition of the ... year on the list, having ranked from 2008-2016. In addition, Standard Process was ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... and mental health treatment has announced the opening of a new residential mental ... for girls with mental health issues such as severe anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... The ... stylish design wanted by today’s consumers at an affordable price, is now available ... the new watch is “a game changer” when it comes to the smartwatch. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 ... "In Vitro Diagnostics/IVD Market by Product (Instruments, Reagents, ... Application (Diabetes, Oncology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Infectious Diseases) - ... market is valued at USD 60.22 Billion in ... a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  The Addiction Treatment Advisory Group (ATAG), ... Care Pharmacy (AMCP), has released detailed findings on ... opioid addiction crisis, including through improved access to ... ATAG,s newly released paper, "The Role of Managed ... many issues around gaps and barriers to addiction ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: ... acquire certain manufacturing assets and capabilities of the Neovasc, ... biological tissue business, as well as a 15% equity ... in cash. The Neovasc advanced biological tissue business makes ... Scientific Lotus™ Valve System. * Upon completion of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: