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Open AccessArticle

‘Obesogenic’ School Food Environments? An Urban Case Study in The Netherlands

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Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU-University, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, P.O. Box 80140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040619
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Urban Environments)
(1) Background: This study aimed to explore and define socio-economic (SES) differences in urban school food environments in The Netherlands. (2) Methods: Retail food outlets, ready-to-eat products, in-store food promotions and food advertisements in public space were determined within 400 m walking distance of all secondary schools in the 4th largest city of The Netherlands. Fisher’s exact tests were conducted. (3) Results: In total, 115 retail outlets sold ready-to-eat food and drink products during school hours. Fast food outlets were more often in the vicinity of schools in lower SES (28.6%) than in higher SES areas (11.5%). In general, unhealthy options (e.g., fried snacks, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB)) were more often for sale, in-store promoted or advertised in comparison with healthy options (e.g., fruit, vegetables, bottled water). Sport/energy drinks were more often for sale, and fried snacks/fries, hamburgers/kebab and SSB were more often promoted or advertised in lower SES areas than in higher SES-areas. (4) Conclusion: In general, unhealthy food options were more often presented than the healthy options, but only a few SES differences were observed. The results, however, imply that efforts in all school areas are needed to make the healthy option the default option during school time. View Full-Text
Keywords: food environment; obesity; urban areas; retail outlets; food advertisements; secondary school; eating behavior; nutrition; adolescents food environment; obesity; urban areas; retail outlets; food advertisements; secondary school; eating behavior; nutrition; adolescents
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Timmermans, J.; Dijkstra, C.; Kamphuis, C.; Huitink, M.; Van der Zee, E.; Poelman, M. ‘Obesogenic’ School Food Environments? An Urban Case Study in The Netherlands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 619.

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