Fast-Food Restaurants Near Schools Affects Weight of Black Students More Than Whites

A new study published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing finds that Black and Hispanic adolescents who attend schools located near fast food restaurants are more likely to be overweight than White or Asian students in the same schools. The authors found that for all students, having a fast-food restaurant a mile nearer to school almost entirely cancels the body weight benefits of exercising one day per week. However, for black and Hispanic students in lower-income urban neighborhoods, having a fast-food restaurant a mile nearer to school may cancel the benefits of up to three days of exercise per week.

sonya_grierSonya A. Grier, an associate professor of marketing at American University in Washington, D.C. and a co-author of the study, stated, “The findings imply that it is important to examine the behaviors and contexts associated with low-income and ethnic minority status in urban areas. These populations not only are the fastest growing but also have the highest rates of obesity, and research is relatively limited.”

Dr. Grier has taught at American University since 2006. She previously taught at Stanford University. She holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University.

The article, “Are All Proximity Effects Created Equal? Fast Food Near Schools and Body Weight Among Diverse Adolescents,” was co-authored by Brennan Davis, an assistant professor of marketing at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. It may be accessed here.

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