Childhood obesity is a major health issue in the U.S. Income and race/ethnicity are key factors associated with obesity, and disparities in obesity among children could be driven by disparities in food access between neighborhoods. Previous research has examined food access by income and race/ethnicity, but many of these studies have had significant limitations, such as relying on imprecise data to define food access or focusing on only one type of food outlet.
Elbel and colleagues have now conducted the first food-access study to incorporate precise home and school address data for each student. The researchers used NYC Department of Education data for 789,520 New York City kindergarteners through 12th graders to calculate the distance to each student's closest food outlet and the number of outlets within 0.25 miles.
The scientists hypothesized...
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