Subjects: Behavioral health
Just days after a CDC report showed that schools across the nation had drastically reduced on-site sales of calorie-leaden snacks, a new study has revealed that kids have responded by trotting over to nearby convenience stores where they load up on goodies to their hearts’ content.
According to Temple University’s Kelley Borradaile and colleagues, Philadelphia school children spend an average of $1.07 per day on snacks at such corner stores and get 357 calories for their money.
To reach these conclusions, Borradaile’s group surveyed 833 students from 10 urban elementary and middle schools during 2008.
Most of the students were black (54%) or Hispanic/Latino (23%).
More than half (53%) the students in the study reported visiting the convenience store every day. An additional 22% reported doing so 2-4 times per week.
“For the most frequent shoppers, those who shopped both before and after school, five times per week, this would amount to about 712 calories per day, or 3,560 calories per week,” the researchers told MedPageToday.
About 30% of the purchased calories were derived from fat, 66% from carbohydrates and 23% from protein.
Chips were purchased most frequently, accounting for nearly 40% of all purchases. Candy came in second.
According to Borradaile, simply switching from fried to baked chips could reduce the kids’ caloric intake by 14%, and drinking water rather than sugar-laced drinks could cut about 60 calories per store visit.
Alas, the war on childhood obesity is being fought in many theaters. Winning the war requires a concerted effort both inside the schools and out.
The write-up is in Pediatrics.