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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 103, Supplement 3, pp S48–S54 | Cite as

Associations Between Children’s Diets and Features of Their Residential and School Neighbourhood Food Environments

  • Andraea Van HulstEmail author
  • Trade A. Barnett
  • Lise Gauvin
  • Mark Daniel
  • Yan Kestens
  • Madeleine Bird
  • Katherine Gray-Donald
  • Marie Lambert
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

Among studies of the built environment, few examine neighbourhood food environments in relation to children’s diets. We examined the associations of residential and school neighbourhood access to different types of food establishments with children’s diets.

Methods

Data from QUALITY (Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle Investigation in Youth), an ongoing study on the natural history of obesity in 630 Quebec youth aged 8–10 years with a parental history of obesity, were analyzed (n=512). Three 24-hour diet recalls were used to assess dietary intake of vegetables and fruit, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Questionnaires were used to determine the frequency of eating/snacking out and consumption of delivered/take-out foods. We characterized residential and school neighbourhood food environments by means of a Geographic Information System. Variables included distance to the nearest supermarket, fast-food restaurant and convenience store, and densities of each food establishment type computed for 1 km network buffers around each child’s residence and school. Retail Food Environment indices were also computed. Multivariable logistic regressions (residential access) and generalized estimating equations (school access) were used for analysis.

Results

Residential and school neighbourhood access to supermarkets was not associated with children’s diets. Residing in neighbourhoods with lower access to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores was associated with a lower likelihood of eating and snacking out. Children attending schools in neighbourhoods with a higher number of unhealthful relative to healthful food establishments scored most poorly on dietary outcomes.

Conclusions

Further investigations are needed to inform policies aimed at shaping neighbourhood-level food purchasing opportunities, particularly for access to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Key words

Built environment children diet food environment residential neighbourhood school neighbourhood QUALITY cohort 

Mots clés

milieu bâti enfant régime alimentaire environnement alimentaire quartier résidentiel quartier scolaire cohorte QUALITY 

Résumé

Objectifs

Rares sont les études du milieu bâti qui s’intéressent aux environnements alimentaires des quartiers par rapport aux régimes alimentaires des enfants. Nous avons examiné les associations entre l’accès des quartiers résidentiels et scolaires à différents types d’établissements alimentaires et les régimes des enfants.

Méthode

Nous avons analysé les données de l’étude QUALITY (QUebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth), une étude en cours sur l’histoire naturelle de l’obésité chez 630 jeunes Québécois de 8 à 1 0 ans ayant une histoire parentale d’obésité (n=512). Trois rappels alimentaires de 24 heures ont servi à évaluer l’apport en fruits et légumes et en boissons édulcorées au sucre. À l’aide de questionnaires, nous avons déterminé la fréquence des repas et des collations pris à l’extérieur et la consommation d’aliments livrés à domicile ou à emporter. Nous avons caractérisé l’environnement alimentaire des quartiers résidentiels et scolaires au moyen d’un système d’information géographique. Les variables étaient la distance jusqu’au supermarché, au restaurant rapide et au dépanneur le plus proche, et les densités de chacun de ces types d’établissements, calculées sur un réseau tampon d’1 km autour du domicile et de l’école de chaque enfant. Des indices d’environnement alimentaire de détail ont aussi été calculés. La régression logistique multivariée (accès à partir du domicile) et des équations d’estimation généralisées (accès à partir de l’école) ont servi à l’analyse.

Résultats

L’accès des quartiers résidentiels et scolaires aux supermarchés n’était pas associé aux régimes des enfants. Le fait d’habiter un quartier où les restaurants rapides et les dépanneurs sont moins accessibles était associé à une plus faible probabilité de prendre des repas et des collations à l’extérieur. Les enfants qui fréquentaient des écoles de quartiers comptant davantage d’établissements alimentaires malsains que d’établissements sains ont obtenu les pires scores pour ce qui est de leur régime.

Conclusions

Des enquêtes plus poussées sont nécessaires pour formuler des politiques qui influencent les occasions d’achat d’aliments à l’échelle des quartiers, particulièrement l’accès aux restaurants rapides et aux dépanneurs.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andraea Van Hulst
    • 1
    • 2
    • 9
    Email author
  • Trade A. Barnett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lise Gauvin
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mark Daniel
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Yan Kestens
    • 1
    • 3
  • Madeleine Bird
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine Gray-Donald
    • 7
  • Marie Lambert
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.Département de médecine sociale et préventiveUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Centre de Recherche Léa-Roback sur les Inégalités Sociales de Santé de MontréalUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  5. 5.School of Health SciencesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideCanada
  6. 6.Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s HospitalThe University of MelbourneMelbourneCanada
  7. 7.School of Dietetics and Human NutritionMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  8. 8.Département de pédiatrieUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  9. 9.Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada

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