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Food Environments Near Home and School Related to Consumption of Soda and Fast Food

July 1, 2011

Policy Brief

Authors: Susan H. Babey, PhD, Joelle Wolstein, PhD, MPP, MA, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS

This policy brief examines the connection between retail food environments and dietary behaviors and health outcomes among California teenagers. Using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the authors find that in California, more than 2 million adolescents (58 percent) drink soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages every day, and more than 1.6 million adolescents (46 percent) eat fast food at least twice a week. Adolescents who live and go to school in areas with more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than healthier food outlets such as grocery stores are more likely to consume soda and fast food than teens who live and go to school in areas with healthier food environments. State and local policy efforts to improve the retail food environment may be effective in improving adolescents' dietary behaviors.

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