224839 Access to fast food around schools Exposures in California's low-income neighborhoods

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Alyssa Ghirardelli, MPH, RD , Network for a Healthy California, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Valerie Quinn, MEd , California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California, Sacramento, CA
Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD , Cancer Control Branch, Network for a Healthy California, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Research is surfacing to examine relationships between student BMI and the proximity of fast food restaurants to schools. The types of food available within mile of schools can influence choices for youth. With 39% of California teens ages 12-17 reporting typical weekly consumption of fast food two or more times and 29% with BMI >85th percentile, education on healthy food choices and advocacy to improve environments around schools is critical. In 2008-2009, 32 low-income neighborhoods with 55 schools were assessed by 14 health departments through Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3). CX3 is an evidence-based, program planning and policy promotion framework. Standardized tools and methods have been developed for measuring fast food within mile of schools using GIS mapping and field surveys. GIS reveals that schools have an average of 6 fast food restaurants within mile and 23% of schools had 10 or more. Survey data for 238 restaurants were approximately 40% fast food chains. Data shows that 22% of restaurants were visible from schools, that 32% had large ads for less healthy products on windows and doors at the front of the building, 26% had ads on the roof/walls and 28% had ads elsewhere on the property. None of the restaurants had calories on the menu board and only 11% had a nutrition information poster/kiosk near the ordering counter and 12% had a brochure. Local health departments implementing CX3 utilize data to inform education and targeting with schools, parents, students and community groups.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Network for a Healthy California efforts to survey fast food within a half mile of schools in low-income neighborhoods. 2. Identify methods for assessing fast food around schools. 3. Discuss GIS and survey findings for fast food surrounding school environments.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am lead researcher for a project examining low-income food environments to inform program planning, nutrition education and community engagement. I have trained health department staff in many parts of the CA to use tools and methods for collecting data in neighborhoods.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.