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:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future ... today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes ... stand in the way of academic and community service ... scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: