253537 Proximity to Fast Food Establishments and Childhood Obesity Prevelance

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jacqueline Watkins, BS , School of Graduate Studies and Research, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Background: Overweight infants have an increased risk of becoming obese children, adolescents, and adults. One potentially important dietary factor is the habitual consumption of fast food at an early age which is associated with adverse health outcomes. This has lead to an increased recognition of residential segregation as a contributor to health disparities.

Methods: Data was provided by the Women, Infants, and Children (W.I.C) program at MPHD in Nashville, Tennessee. W.I.C. patient charts were reviewed to determine the number of obese infants in the 37206 and 37208 zip codes who were overweight/obese based on age specific body mass index. This data was cross tabulated with an additional database of available fast food establishments, convenience stores, and grocery stores in the 37206 and 37208 zip codes. The data was analyzed using the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping software.

Results: The GIS analysis showed there are currently 55 fast food establishments, 14 convenience stores, and two grocery stores in the 37208 zip code. There are four fast food establishments, 16 convenience stores, and five grocery stores in the 37206 zip code. This may indicate a relationship between proximity to fast food establishments and obese infants in the 37208 and 37206 zip codes.

Discussion: This research will lead to the development of community based education and intervention which have been shown to be successful in many health education initiatives. It may raise awareness to obesity among infants and develop public health policies to address lack of access to grocery stores.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
The objective of this study is to evaluate the correlation between proximity to fast food establishments and obesity prevelence among the children in the 37206 and 37208 area codes.

Keywords: Children, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because as a public health professional I participate in community outreach. This research is an identified problem for selected target populations.
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.