We aimed to explore associations between the accessibility of fast-food restaurants (FFRs) and weight-related outcomes in children and adolescents through a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies. We searched three databases for studies published before October 21, 2022. Study quality was assessed using the National Institutes of Health's Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Meta-analysis was performed, and the leave-one-out method was used for sensitivity analysis. A total of 60 studies were included. According to our analysis, FFRs within a smaller buffer radius from residences or that provide unhealthy foods may have a more significant influence on children's and adolescents' weight. Children of younger ages and girls may have a higher possibility of being overweight due to FFRs. Though we could hardly avoid bias, the estimates in low-and middle-income countries (only six studies) are much higher than those in high-income countries (54 studies). More research analyses based on microscope data and individual economic levels are needed. This study yields quantitative results, provides policymakers and urban planners with a theoretical support for building resilient and sustainable human settlements, and promotes the translation of research findings from public health to environmental planning.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- children and adolescents
- fast-food restaurants
- food environment