Previous research reported modest associations between food environments near schools and adiposity among children overall. The associations within sociodemographic subgroups have not been synthesized. This review assessed the evidence on the associations between food environments near schools and childhood obesity within different demographic and socio-economic subgroups. PubMed and Scopus databases were searched to identify studies published in English between January 1, 1980, and April 25, 2019, examining the presence of fast food outlets, convenience stores, supermarkets, and grocery stores near schools and measures of overweight/obesity by race/ethnicity, gender, grade, and income level. Twelve cross-sectional and two ecological studies were included. Fast food outlets were most commonly examined (n = 12). The associations between fast food outlets near schools and obesity were generally positive among Latino, white, and African American students and across grade levels, although the strengths of evidence varied. The directions of association were mixed among Asian children. Three studies reported generally positive associations between convenience stores and obesity among Latino and African American children and mixed associations among white and Asian children. Longitudinal studies are needed in addition to studies examining underlying mechanisms of the differential influence of food environments near schools within each subgroup.
- food environment
- socio-economic status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health