Supermarket access key ingredient in obesity programs

May 3, 2014

Living close to a supermarket appears to be a key factor in the success of interventions to help obese children eat better and improve their weight, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 3, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Urban neighborhoods and rural towns without access to fresh, healthy and affordable food are known as food deserts. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, food deserts sometimes have only fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Few studies have looked at whether living farther from a large affects the success of interventions to improve eating habits and reduce weight.

The authors of this study analyzed data from a randomized, controlled trial that took place in 14 pediatric practices in Massachusetts. The trial compared two interventions to help ages 6-12 years old eat and improve their weight. The first intervention included electronic decision support to help clinicians manage , while the second intervention included decision support and parent health coaching. There also was a control group that received usual care.

Results showed that children in the intervention groups living closer to a supermarket were able to increase their fruit and vegetable intake more than those living farther away. Those living farther away from a supermarket in the intervention groups had a larger increase in as well.

Distance from a supermarket did not affect the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed.

"As our nation strives to improve the health of our children, we must look to children's neighborhoods and provide easier, healthier choices for families," said lead author Lauren G. Fiechtner, MD, fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Health Services at Boston Children's Hospital and research fellow in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics, MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

Explore further: Distance to supermarket makes no difference to diet quality, study says

More information: Dr. Fiechtner will present "Proximity to Supermarkets Modifies Intervention Effects on Diet and Body Mass Index Changes in an Obesity Randomized Trial" from 8-8:15 a.m. Saturday, May 3. To view the study abstract, go to www.abstracts2view.com/pas/vie … hp?nu=PAS14L1_1155.1

Related Stories

Distance to supermarket makes no difference to diet quality, study says

March 17, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Public health experts have assumed that living close to a supermarket is linked to a better diet and lower obesity. The closer you lived to one, the theory went, the more likely you were to eat more fruits ...

Children living close to fast food outlets more likely to be overweight

February 13, 2014
Children living in areas surrounded by fast food outlets are more likely to be overweight or obese according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR).

Healthy food rarely convenient for urban minorities

October 16, 2013
Despite the prevalence of corner and convenience stores in urban neighborhoods, many residents have to travel farther to find supermarkets that offer a wide variety of healthful food choices, finds a new study in the American ...

Obese children more vulnerable to food advertising

November 30, 2012
Rates of childhood obesity have tripled in the past 30 years, and food marketing has been implicated as one factor contributing to this trend. Every year, companies spend more than $10 billion in the US marketing their food ...

Small retail grocers, improved transit might be key to shrinking 'food deserts'

April 14, 2014
Food deserts—a term used for geographical areas where healthy food is inaccessible or prohibitively expensive—are connected to high rates of obesity and diet-related diseases. A new University of Georgia study says that ...

Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once a week

November 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy ...

Recommended for you

Study finds 90 percent of American men overfat

July 24, 2017
Does your waist measure more than half your height?

Are sugary drink interventions changing people's behaviour?

July 19, 2017
An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people's habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

Young adult obesity: A neglected, yet essential focus to reverse the obesity epidemic

July 18, 2017
The overall burden of the U.S. obesity epidemic continues to require new thinking. Prevention of obesity in young adults, while largely ignored as a target for prevention and study, will be critical to reversing the epidemic, ...

Weight gain from early to middle adulthood may increase risk of major chronic diseases

July 18, 2017
Cumulative weight gain over the course of early and middle adulthood may increase health risks later in life, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They found that, compared ...

Study finds children carry implicit bias towards peers who are overweight

June 23, 2017
Even children as young as 9 years old can carry a prejudice against their peers who are overweight, according to a new study led by Duke Health researchers. They might not even realize they feel this way.

Mother's obesity boosts risk for major birth defects: study

June 15, 2017
Children of obese women are more likely to be afflicted by major birth defects, including malformations of the heart and genitals, according to a study published on Thursday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.