Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 32–35 | Cite as

Fast Food and Deprivation in Nova Scotia

  • Jennifer Jones
  • Mikiko Terashima
  • Daniel Rainham
Quantitative Research



To examine the relationship between density of fast food restaurants and measures of social and material deprivation at the community level in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Census information on population and key variables required for the calculation of deprivation indices were obtained for 266 communities in Nova Scotia. The density of fast food restaurants per 1000 individuals for each community was calculated and communities were divided into quintiles of material and psychosocial deprivation. One-way analysis of variance was used to investigate associations between fast food outlet densities and deprivation scores at the community level.


A statistically significant inverse association was found between community-level material deprivation and the mean number of fast food restaurants per 1000 people for Nova Scotia (p<0.000). Significant positive relationships were found between density of fast food restaurants and psychosocial deprivation (p<0.000). Both associations were principally linear with greater fast food outlet density occurring as material deprivation decreased and as psychosocial deprivation increased.


Community-level deprivation in Nova Scotia is associated with fast food outlet density and lends support for environmental explanations for variations in the prevalence of obesity. Such findings are valuable to population health intervention initiatives targeting the modification of environmental determinants of obesity.

Key words

Psychosocial deprivation material deprivation obesity fast food mapping 



Examiner la relation entre la densité des restaurants rapides et les mesures de la défavorisation sociale et matérielle à l’échelle des agglomérations en Nouvelle-Écosse (Canada).


Nous avons extrait les données du Recensement et obtenu les grandes variables nécessaires au calcul des indices de défavorisation pour 266 agglomérations néo-écossaises. Nous avons calculé la densité des restaurants rapides pour 1 000 habitants dans chaque agglomération et divisé les agglomérations en quintiles de défavorisation matérielle et psychosociale. Une analyse unidirectionnelle de la variance a servi à examiner les associations entre la densité des restaurants rapides et les scores de défavorisation à l’échelle des agglomérations.


Nous observons une association inverse significative entre la défavorisation matérielle dans les agglomérations et le nombre moyen de restaurants rapides pour 1 000 habitants en Nouvelle-Écosse (p<0,000). Nous observons aussi une relation positive significative entre la densité des restaurants rapides et la défavorisation psychosociale (p<0,000). Ces associations sont principalement linéaires: plus la défavorisation matérielle diminue et plus la défavorisation psychosociale augmente, plus la densité des restaurants rapides est forte.


La défavorisation à l’échelle des agglomérations de la Nouvelle-Écosse est associée à la densité des restaurants rapides, ce qui tend à confirmer les explications environnementales des écarts dans la prévalence de l’obésité. Nos constatations présentent un intérêt pour les mesures d’intervention en santé des populations qui visent à modifier les déterminants environnementaux de l’obésité.

Mots clés

défavorisation psychosociale défavorisation matérielle obésité repas rapides mappage 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Jones
    • 1
  • Mikiko Terashima
    • 2
  • Daniel Rainham
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental ProgrammesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population HealthUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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