Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health researchers find 92.9 percent of students had a bodega -- a small grocery store that typically carried fewer healthy food options than larger grocery stores --within 500 yards of their school.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, finds 70.6 percent of school children had a pizzeria nearby, 48.9 percent were similarly close to a convenience store, 43.2 percent were less than 500 yards from a national chain fast-food restaurant, such as McDonald's or Burger King, and 33.9 percent were that close to a local fast-food chain restaurant.
"The data confirm that nearly all New York City public school students have access to inexpensive, energy-dense foods within a 5-minute walk of New York City's public schools," senior author Andrew Rundle says in a statement.
Racial/ethnic minority and low-income students were more likely to attend schools with unhealthy food outlets nearby -- with bodegas being the most common source of unhealthy food, the study says.
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