Using a large cross sectional English sample, we quantified the association between weight status in children aged 4–5 and 10–11 year, characteristics of the food environment, and area deprivation. We observed a positive association between the density of unhealthy food outlets in a neighbourhood and the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children. An association in the opposite direction was observed for other types of food outlets, although after adjustment this was only statistically significant for older children. The prevalence of fast food and other unhealthy food outlets explained only a small proportion of the observed associations between weight status and socioeconomic deprivation. Children׳s weight status may be influenced by their local environment, particularly older children, but associations between obesity and deprivation do not appear strongly due to local food environment characteristics.
- Food environment
- Geographic information systems