Would you like fries with that? Investigating fast-food outlet availability near schools in Perth, Western Australia

Gina S.A. Trapp, Paula Hooper, Wesley Billingham, Lukar Thornton, Ainslie Sartori, Kelly Kennington, Amanda Devine, Stephanie Godrich, Ros Sambell, Justine Howard, Alexia Bivoltsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Issue addressed: Locating fast-food outlets near schools is a potential public health risk to schoolchildren, given the easy access and repeated exposure to energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods they provide. Fast-food outlet availability near schools has not been previously investigated in Perth, Western Australia. This study aimed to quantify fast-food outlet availability near Perth schools and determine whether differences in area-level disadvantage and school type exist. Methods: Fast-food outlet locations were sourced from Perth Local Governments in 2018/2019. All Perth Primary (n = 454), Secondary (n = 107) and K-12 (n = 94) schools were assigned an area-level disadvantage decile ranking based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA). Regression models assessed whether fast-food outlet availability within 400 m, 800 m and 1 km of schools differed by school type (ie, Primary/Secondary/K-12) or SEIFA. Results: Secondary schools were significantly more likely than Primary and K-12 schools to have a higher presence and density of fast-food outlets and the “Top 4” fast-food outlet chains (McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster) nearby. Schools located in low socio-economic status (SES) areas had a significantly higher density of fast-food outlets within 400 m, and “Top 4” fast-food outlet chains within 400 m and 1 km, than schools located in high SES area. Conclusions: Perth schools are surrounded by fast-food outlets with densities significantly higher around secondary schools and schools located in lower SES areas. So what?: Policies and regulations aimed at reducing fast-food outlets near schools is an essential strategy to improve dietary intakes and reduce obesity in schoolchildren.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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