A national study of the association between neighbourhood access to fast-food outlets and the diet and weight of local residents

Health Place. 2009 Mar;15(1):193-7. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


Differential locational access to fast-food retailing between neighbourhoods of varying socioeconomic status has been suggested as a contextual explanation for the social distribution of diet-related mortality and morbidity. This New Zealand study examines whether neighbourhood access to fast-food outlets is associated with individual diet-related health outcomes. Travel distances to the closest fast-food outlet (multinational and locally operated) were calculated for all neighbourhoods and appended to a national health survey. Residents in neighbourhoods with the furthest access to a multinational fast-food outlet were more likely to eat the recommended intake of vegetables but also be overweight. There was no association with fruit consumption. Access to locally operated fast-food outlets was not associated with the consumption of the recommended fruit and vegetables or being overweight. Better neighbourhood access to fast-food retailing is unlikely to be a key contextual driver for inequalities in diet-related health outcomes in New Zealand.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Commerce*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Restaurants
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult