Obesogenic and Youth Oriented Restaurant Marketing in Public Housing Neighborhoods

Rebecca Lee, University of Houston
Katie Heinrich, Kansas State University
Jacqueline Reese-Smith, University of Texas
Gail Regan, Castleton State College

This study compared restaurant marketing (product, price, promotion) by restaurant and neighborhood type. All restaurants (61=fast food, FF; 72=table service, TS) within an 800 meter radius of 13 public housing developments (HD) and 4 comparison neighborhoods were audited using the Restaurant Assessment Tool©2010. HD neighborhoods were low income and high minority with more FF restaurants than comparison neighborhoods; density and street connectivity were similar across neighborhoods. Beverages were significantly cheaper at FF restaurants. HD neighborhoods had significantly lower ratios of healthy to total entrees. FF restaurants had more children’s meals, supersize drinks, free prize with purchase, supersize food items, special characters, and items geared to driving. Children’s meals (27.9%) were most commonly found, followed by supersize drinks (20.6%), free prize with purchase (16.9%) and supersize foods (14.1%). Residents of lower SES neighborhoods may be differentially exposed to an obesogenic food environment particularly if there are few alternatives to FF restaurants.

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Presented in Poster Session 4