It has been suggested that the location of quick-service restaurants and convenience stores near schools, particularly high schools with open campuses, is one of the main drivers for obesity in children. Some cities have even proposed a ban on building and operating quick-service restaurants near schools.
A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior disputes this assumption. The study looked at 11 Maine high schools and found that students got food and sweetened drinks at many locations, including school. There were no relationships found between the closeness of food outlets or the number of food outlets near schools and the students’ risk for obesity. The assumption that stores selling calorie-dense foods near schools would increase the risk for obesity in students could not be proven.