retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that “Roland Sturm, an economist at RAND Corporation, analyzed the food environments of 13,000 adolescents in California, looking at how many fast-food restaurants and supermarkets were within a 1.5-mile radius of their homes and schools. He then looked at how much fast food, fresh fruits and other foods the kids consumed. And his study found no correlation between what food sources kids lived near, what the kids ate and how much they weighed ... Sturm doesn’t disagree with the idea that supermarkets can benefit a neighborhood: They provide more food variety and more options for eating healthily. But he cautions against turning to a supermarket expansion as a way to address American obesity.”

“The idea of a supermarket desert is something everyone is really interested in,” Sturm tells the Post. “The big concern I have right now is there is policy being guided by some spurious findings.”
KC's View:
The folks in LA who banned the development of new fast food joints from the South Central section of the city will be disappointed by this study, since they felt that it was a good way to combat childhood obesity and resultant health issues. Still, I’m not sure it is bad thing to stay away from fast feeders ... not a public policy decision, perhaps, but certain a good parental one.