Within Arm’s Reach: School Neighbourhoods and Young People’s Food Choices

Janice Moorhouse, Ariadne Kapetanaki, Wendy Wills

Research output: Other contribution


This briefing paper suggests that although intuitively attractive, it seems that evidence of a link between the food and drink environment and young people’s food choices is not easy to pin down. Whilst there is a need for further research on the impact of the school neighbourhood environment, and one recent systematic review of the evidence suggests there is moderate evidence of the impact of the food and drink environment on young people’s food choices, we argue that interventions such as reducing the numbers of food outlets located close to schools and restrictions on the in-store environment, are unlikely to work on their own. It would seem that young people are willing to travel further afield to get the food they want, and in-store restrictions may address impulse snacking but not trading behaviour (i.e. where young people bring forbidden foods into school to sell to others). We need to recognise and utilise the agency of young people. A strong regulatory environment is necessary but not sufficient. The importance of the dining experience, and predominance of social and hedonic needs have to be taken into account by those involved in an on-going process to improve the young people’s food choices in the vicinity of school.
Original languageEnglish
TypeFood Research Network Briefing Paper
PublisherFood Research Collaboration
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016

Publication series

NameFood Research Collaboration Briefing Papers
PublisherFood Research Collaboration

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