Proximity to convenience stores fosters child obesity

Dec 17, 2009

Childhood obesity is directly related to how close kids live to convenience stores, according to the preliminary findings of a major Canadian study presented at the Entretiens Jacques-Cartier in Lyon, France. The ongoing study is named QUALITY for Quebec Adipose and Lifestyle InvesTigation in Youth.

The main purpose of the study is to better understand the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and in . In 2005, some 632 Montreal children and their families were recruited for the investigation. The children came from various neighbourhoods with family incomes ranging from $31,000 to $141,000. Of the underage participants, 42 percent were overweight and 22 percent were outright obese.

"Access to convenience stores seems more relevant in obesity than access to fast food restaurants," says senior researcher Tracie Ann Barnett, a professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and researcher at the Sainte Justine University Hospital Research Center.

The research team found that access to green spaces may have little influence on the size of 8 to 10-year-olds. While proximity of parks can affect how much children walk, any impact on weight remains to be seen. Families who took part in the QUALITY study will continue to be monitored to verify if proximity to the park has an impact on the long-term weight of children. Dr. Barnett suggests that schools should establish zones that are free of convenience stores and work harder to compete against fast food chains.

The QUALITY team includes researchers from six Quebec institutions including the Université de Montréal, Concordia University, Université Laval, McGill University and l'INRS-Institut Armand Frappier. The team comprises specialists in pediatrics, endocrinology, cardiology, genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, vascular imaging, health psychology, social sciences, kinesiology, dentistry, epidemiology, biostatistics and public health.

Explore further: Study recommends inmate immunity test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Growing years cut short for toddlers from poor families

Jan 21, 2009

Continuous poverty during toddler years can curb the height of children by the time they reach kindergarten, even in industrialized countries, according to new research from the Université de Montréal. Regardless ...

22-year study finds adults aren't active enough

May 12, 2009

A new study has sounded the alarm that the majority of Canadian adults are inactive over their lifespan and don't exercise enough during their leisure time. Published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition an ...

Children living near green spaces are more active

Mar 12, 2009

Children at high risk of obesity who live near parks and recreation areas are apt to participate in walking activities more often, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Conference on Nutrition, Physical ...

Asthmatic children: Did mom use her pump during pregnancy?

Oct 05, 2009

Expectant mothers who eschew asthma treatment during pregnancy heighten the risk transmitting the condition to their offspring, according to one of the largest studies of its kind published in the European Respiratory Jo ...

Recommended for you

Study recommends inmate immunity test

13 hours ago

(AP)—Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three ...

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

20 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

20 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

meisdug
not rated yet Dec 17, 2009
"...establish zones that are free of convenience stores"

More government regulation? Why is that always the answer?

Why can't we encourage convenience stores to carry healthier products instead? Many people are becoming more health conscious and would appreciate a change. I tend to avoid convenience stores, if possible, because of the crap they usually carry. I would love for a new trend of stores having a fresh juice bar and an organic snack selection. What kind of effect would that have on our youth living in close proximity?