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 journalArticle


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
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this