How Proximity to Convenience Stores Promotes Child Obesity

MONTREAL – The proximity of convenience stores to kids is connected to childhood obesity, according to a new study.

As part of the study 632 children and their families from Montreal in Canada were recruited in 2005.

The children belonged to family incomes ranging from 31,000 dollars to 141,000 dollars.

Of the underage participants, 42 percent were overweight and 22 percent were outright obese.

The researchers noted that access to green spaces may have little influence on the size of 8 to 10-year-olds.

However, proximity of parks can affect how much children walk, but 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.

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, said: “Access to convenience stores seems more relevant in obesity than access to fast food restaurants.”

She further suggested that schools should establish zones that are free of convenience stores.

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