Differences in the Neighborhood Retail Food Environment and Obesity Among US Children and Adolescents by SNAP Participation

Mary T. Gorski Findling, Julia A. Wolfson, Eric B. Rimm, Sara N. Bleich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The goal of this study was to understand the association between children's neighborhood food access and overweight/obesity in a national sample of US households, and whether this association differs by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation or household purchases. Methods: Data were obtained from the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (2012-2013; n = 3,748 children aged 2 to 18 years). Logistic regression was used to examine associations between neighborhood retail food access (≤1 mile from home), food purchases (including sugary beverages), and overweight/obesity, stratified by SNAP status (1,720 participants, 453 eligible nonparticipants, 1,575 SNAP ineligible). Store types included supermarkets/grocery, combination grocery/other (independent drug, dollar, and general stores), convenience, fast food, and non–fast food restaurants. Results: Odds of childhood overweight/obesity (OR [95% CI]) were higher with greater access to combination grocery/other stores overall (1.10 [1.03-1.17]) and for children in SNAP (1.14 [1.05-1.24]). Eligible non-SNAP children had higher odds of overweight/obesity with greater access to convenience stores (1.11 [1.04-1.18]). The average child lived in a household with 6.3% of total spending at food outlets on sugary beverages (SNAP: 8.3%, eligible non-SNAP: 7.7%, SNAP ineligible: 5.5%). Conclusions: Greater neighborhood access to combination grocery/other stores is associated with higher obesity prevalence for children overall and those in SNAP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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