Convenience Stores and Obesity

One of the few prospective longitudinal studies examining the influence of key elements of a comprehensive set of food outlets, both large and small, the study followed two groups of 3 to 15 year-old children in four New Jersey cities — Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, and Trenton. These cities were known to be initiating policy and environmental changes aimed at childhood obesity prevention. The first group was studied from 2009-10 to 2014-15, the second from 2014 to 2016-17.

Less healthy changes were found in children when their exposure to convenience stores increased over time. For example, exposure to an additional convenience store within a mile of a child’s home over 24 months resulted in 11.7 percent greater likelihood of a child being in a higher body mass index range compared to other children of the same sex and age at the end of the study. In contrast, exposure to an additional small grocery store within a mile over 24 months resulted in 37.3 percent lower odds of being in a higher body mass index category. No consistent patterns were found for changes in exposure to supermarkets, restaurants, or pharmacies.

Elsevier. “Kids gain weight when new convenience stores open nearby.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201210074725.htm (accessed December 12, 2020).

Journal Reference

  1. Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Francesco Acciai, Kristen Lloyd, David Tulloch, Robin S. DeWeese, Derek DeLia, Michael Todd, Michael J. Yedidia. Evidence That Changes in Community Food Environments Lead to Changes in Children’s Weight: Results from a Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2020.10.016

The only thing I buy at the 7-11 is gas.