Proximity and High Density of Convenience Stores Was Associated With Obesity in Children of a Rural Community of Mexico: Using a Geographic Information System Approach

Gerardo A Zavala, Tenorio-Palos Yessica, Campos-Ponce Maiza, Elton-Puente Juana Elizabeth, López-González Carlos Alberto, Doak Colleen M, Rosado Jorge L, García Olga P

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BACKGROUND: Food environment (FE) has been linked to obesity in urban areas, but there is limited information in rural areas, particularly in developing countries, where prevalence of obesity is high.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between FE and childhood obesity using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

METHODS: A total of 218 (8-10 years) children participated in a cross-sectional study. Weight, height, and body fat were measured. Geolocation of convenience stores (CS) and participants' households was collected, and the amount of processed food (PF) in the stores was measured. The proximity to the nearest CS and the number of CS within a 250-m buffer from each participant's household was calculated using GIS. Linear regression models between obesity measurements and FE were performed.

RESULTS: The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was 32%. A total of 91% of the children had access to a CS within 250 m. On average, 48% of the shelf-space of the CS were occupied with PF. A positive association between the density of CS with body fat % (β = .145; 95% CI, 0.048-0.241, P = .004), abdominal fat % (β = .206; 95% CI, 0.048-0.241, P = .003), and body mass index (BMI)-for-age z-score (BMIz; β = .028; 95% CI, 0.005-0.062, P = .005) was found. Living closer to CS was associated with increases in body fat % (β = -0.009; 95% CI, -0.017 to -0.001, P = 0.025), abdominal fat % (β = -0.012; 95% CI, -0.023 to -0.001, P = 0.033), and BMIz (β = -0.002, 95% CI, -0.004 to -0.001, P = 0.003).

CONCLUSION: In a rural community in Mexico, a high density and low proximity to CS is associated with obesity in school-aged children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3795721211033146
Number of pages12
JournalFood and nutrition bulletin
Early online date24 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021

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© 2021 by Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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