Objectives: To examine the association of school sociodemographic characteristics with tobacco outlet and fast-food restaurant availability near schools in a national study.
Methods: Business lists and data from the National Center for Education Statistics were used to calculate the numbers of tobacco outlets and fast-food restaurants within 800 meters of public schools in 97 US counties.
Results: More than 50% of schools with a majority of Hispanic students had both a fast-food restaurant and tobacco outlet nearby, compared with 21% of schools with a majority of White students. In adjusted models, each 10% increase in the number of low-income and Hispanic students enrolled in a school led to a 3% to 5% increase in the odds of the school having both a fast-food restaurant and a tobacco outlet nearby.
Conclusions: Low-income and Hispanic students are disproportionately exposed to both tobacco outlets and fast-food restaurants near their schools. Easy access to tobacco products and fast food may influence youth smoking initiation and contribute to poor dietary intake.