Essay: News Related to Food and Policy

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Rabin, Roni Caryn. (2009, March 29). Proximity to fast food a factor in student obesity. The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2010 at

News article review

According to a study summarized in The New York Times, children whose schools are in closer proximity to fast food restaurants are more likely to be obese. This has caused many politicians within the U.S. And elsewhere to demand more stringent zoning laws regarding fast food chains near schools, much as the sale of alcohol and pornography is also prohibited. The author of the article, Roni Caryn Rabin, details how economists from Columbia University and the University of California tracked the BMI of ninth grade. Even adjusted "for a wide range of variables, including income, education and race, the researchers found that obesity rates were 5% higher among the ninth graders whose schools were within one-tenth of a mile of a pizza, burger or other popular fast-food outlet, compared with students attending schools farther away from fast-food stores" (Rabin 2009, p.1). There have also been calls within the UK for such a geographic ban.

The implications of Columbia-UC study suggest that the rapid increase in BMI of schoolchildren nation and world-wise is not merely due to genetics or a failure of willpower -- or even economics, as economic factors were controlled for in the study. Even when parents had enough income to provide children with healthier alternatives, the nearby presence of fast food notably increased children's consumption. The researchers were uncertain why this was the case. "It could be that students don't like to wander too far…Maybe they don't have a long lunch period. Maybe it's just the effect of having temptation right in front of your eyes" surmised the authors (Rabin 2010, p.1). Peer pressure -- seeing all of one's friends eat fast food, and having an environment that normalized fast food consumption, and reinforced pro-fast food messages seen… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

News Related to Food and Policy.  (2010, August 13).  Retrieved July 24, 2019, from

MLA Format

"News Related to Food and Policy."  13 August 2010.  Web.  24 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"News Related to Food and Policy."  August 13, 2010.  Accessed July 24, 2019.