VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Living
close to a supermarket appears to be a key factor in the success of
interventions to help obese children eat better and improve their weight, according
to a study to be presented Saturday, May 3, at the Pediatric Academic Societies
(PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
neighborhoods and rural towns without access to fresh, healthy and affordable
food are known as food deserts. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores,
food deserts sometimes have only fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.
Few studies have looked at whether
living farther from a large supermarket affects the success of interventions to
improve eating habits and reduce weight.
authors of this study analyzed data from a randomized, controlled trial that
took place in 14 pediatric practices in Massachusetts. The trial compared two
interventions to help obese children ages 6-12 years old eat healthier foods
and improve their weight. The first intervention included electronic decision
support to help clinicians manage obese patients, while the second intervention
included decision support and parent health coaching. There also was a control
group that received usual care.
showed that children in the intervention groups living closer to a supermarket
were able to increase their fruit and vegetable intake more than those living
farther away. Those living farther away from a supermarket in the intervention
groups had a larger increase in body mass index as well.
from a supermarket did not affect the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages
our nation strives to improve the health of our children, we must look to
children’s neighborhoods and provide easier, healthier choices for families,”
said lead author Lauren G. Fiechtner, MD, fellow in the Division of
Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Health Services at Boston Children’s
Hospital and research fellow in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics,
MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
Fiechtner will present “Proximity to Supermarkets Modifies Intervention Effects
on Diet and Body Mass Index Changes in an Obesity Randomized Trial” from 8-8:15
a.m. Saturday, May 3. To view the study abstract, go to http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS14L1_1155.1.
study was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (1R18AE000026). Dr. Fiechtner was funded by a National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development training grant to the Division of
Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital (T32 DK 007747).
Academic Societies (PAS) are four individual pediatric organizations that
co-sponsor the PAS Annual Meeting – the American Pediatric Society, the Society
for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American
Academy of Pediatrics. Members of these organizations are pediatricians and
other health care providers who are practicing in the research, academic and
clinical arenas. The four sponsoring organizations are leaders in the
advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy within pediatrics, and all
share a common mission of fostering the health and well-being of children
worldwide. For more information, visit www.pas-meeting.org. Follow news of the PAS meeting on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PedAcadSoc.