Student Obesity Jumps in Schools Near Fast-Food Joints

Rate 5% higher when kids can walk to outlet
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2009 12:20 PM CDT
A Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Redwood City, Calif. is shown Monday, Feb. 2, 2009.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Students are more likely to be obese when their schools are located within a tenth of a mile of fast-food restaurants, researchers found. In a study of more than a million California ninth-graders over 8 years, they found that the incidence of obesity at schools near the restaurants was 5.2% higher than the state average, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Fast food offers the most calories per price compared to other restaurants, and that’s combined with a high temptation factor,” said a member of the research team, which concluded that cities worried about kids’ obesity might want to ban fast-food restaurants close to schools. “I know it’s not very good for you, but I eat it because that is the closest place to school,” said one student.