Association between Childhood Obesity and Neighbourhood Accessibility to Fast-Food Outlets: A Nationwide 6-Year Follow-Up Study of 944,487 Children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The aim of this 6-year follow-up study was to examine whether neighbourhood accessibility to fast-food outlets was associated with diagnosed childhood obesity, after adjustment for neighbourhood- and individual-level socio-demographic factors. Methods: This 6-year follow-up study comprised 484,677 boys and 459,810 girls aged 0-14 years in Sweden. The follow-up period ran from January 1, 2005, until hospitalisation/out-patient treatment for obesity, death, emigration or the end of the study period on December 31, 2010. Multilevel logistic regression models (individual-level factors at the first level and neighbourhood-level factors at the second level) were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: We identified 6,968 obesity cases (3,878 boys and 3,090 girls) during the follow-up period. Higher odds of childhood obesity for those living in neighbourhoods with accessibility to fast-food outlets was observed (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.07-1.22) that remained significant after adjustments (OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.00-1.13). Conclusions: This prospective nationwide study showed that the neighbourhood accessibility to fast-food outlets was independently associated with increased odds of diagnosed childhood obesity. This finding implicates that residential environments should be considered when developing health promotion programmes.


External organisations
  • Kyoto Sangyo University
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Childhood obesity, Fast-food outlets, Follow-up study, Multilevel analysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-568
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Facts
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 22
Publication categoryResearch