Neighbourhood food environment and dietary intakes in adolescents: sex and perceived family affluence as moderators

Int J Pediatr Obes. 2010 Oct;5(5):420-7. doi: 10.3109/17477160903505910.


Objective: To examine the effects of perceived availability of fast-food shops, restaurants, and convenience stores on adolescent dietary intakes.

Methods: Survey data from 34 369 students in 42 Hong Kong secondary schools were collected in 2006-7. Respondents reported the availability of fast-food shops, restaurants and convenience stores in the neighbourhood, and their intakes of fruit, vegetables, high-fat foods and junk food/soft drinks. For intakes of high-fat foods and junk food/ soft drinks, ≤ once a week was defined as low consumption and the rest moderate/high consumption. At least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily were defined as sufficient consumption. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (OR) for each dietary intake in relation to the reported food shops. Potential effect modifications by socio-demographic factors were also examined.

Results: Perceived availability of fast-food shops and convenience stores were positively associated with moderate/high consumptions of high-fat foods (OR(fast) =1.10 and OR(con) =1.15) and junk food/soft drinks (OR(fast)=1.10 and OR(con) =1.10). Significant negative associations of the perceived availability of restaurants with intakes of vegetables and fruit were observed (OR(veg) =0.87 and OR(fruit) =0.83). The positive relationship between reporting fast-food shops with intake of junk food/soft drinks were observed only in boys and those with low perceived family affluence. The negative association of reporting restaurants with fruit consumption was found in those with low and middle perceived family affluence only.

Conclusions: Perceived availability of neighbourhood fast-food shops, restaurants, and convenience stores may have a negative impact on adolescent dietary intakes particularly for those from poorer families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Eating*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Restaurants*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors