|Title||Exploring the food environment around post-primary schools in Ireland|
|Keywords||food environment, obesity, children|
|Abstract||Objectives: Obesity among children and young people is a significant public health problem in Ireland. The food environment, in particular around schools, may influence food and thus energy intake of children. A need for controls on the proximity of fast food businesses around schools in Ireland has been suggested. The aim of this study was to investigate the number of fast food chain restaurants around post-primary schools in Ireland, by school type and area level deprivation.|
Methods: For this study data from the 2010 Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study were employed. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to examine the availability of fast food chain restaurants within 1 and 2km circular buffers around post-primary schools (n=119). Schools were geo-coded using An Post’s Geodirectory and mapped in ArcGIS 10. Chi-square analysis were used to explore differences, in the number of fast food chain restaurants within 1 and 2 km circular buffers, between schools designated as disadvantaged/non-disadvantaged, urban/rural, and by the Haase Deprivation area Index.
Results: Fifty five and sixty seven fast food chain restaurants were identified within 1 and 2km circular buffers of post primary schools, respectively. Significant differences were found between urban and rural schools, with more fast food businesses in the proximity of urban schools. No other statistically significant differences were observed.
Conclusions: Further work on the density and type of food stores surrounding schools in Ireland, and the effects on food and energy intake of children is necessary. Such work will provide evidence regarding controlling the proximity of food businesses around schools.
|Last name||First name||Organization||Country|
|Kelly||Colette||HPRC, NUI Galway||IE||colette.kelly [ätt] nuigalway.ie|
|Callaghan||Mary||HPRC, NUI Galway||IE||mary.callaghan [ätt] nuigalway.ie|
|Molcho||Michal||HPRC, NUI Galway||IE||michal.molcho [ätt] nuigalway.ie|
|Nic Gabhainn||Saoirse||HPRC, NUI Galway||IE||saoirse.nicgabhainn [ätt] nuigalway.ie|