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Grocery store access and childhood obesity: A systematic review and meta‐analysis

25 Oct 2019


Grocery store is usually considered to be a healthy food outlet as it provides access to a variety of healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables, which may potentially improve overall dietary quality and protect against obesity. However, findings of the association between grocery store and childhood obesity are controversial. This study aimed to systematically review the evidence on the association between access to grocery stores and childhood obesity. A literature search was conducted in the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science for articles published before January 1, 2019, using the combinations of three groups of keywords separately for grocery store, children and adolescents, and weight‐related behaviours and outcomes. A total of 27 cross‐sectional and eight longitudinal studies were identified. Controversial results existed among 24 studies, which examined the association between the access to grocery stores and weight‐related outcomes. A null association was observed in almost all meta‐analyses conducted by different measures of grocery stores and weight status, except the analysis between presence of grocery stores and overweight, which reached borderline significance. For weight‐related behaviours, mixed findings were reported between grocery stores and dietary behaviours, and no significant associations were found for physical activity. This systematic review and meta‐analysis suggested that access to grocery stores may have a rather small influence on child weight.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Obesity Reviews