The Built Environment Around Schools and the Lifestyle Habits of Young People: State of Knowledge and Québec Overview
- Most scientific studies show meaningful connections between the characteristics of the built environment and the eating habits, physical activity and body weight of young people.
- The factor that appears to be most closely associated with students' weight and eating habits is the density of convenience stores and fast food restaurants in the vicinity of the school.
- The characteristics of the built environment that have the greatest influence on physical activity are accessibility to recreational facilities and, to a lesser extent, the walkability of the neighbourhood.
- Just over half (58.9%) of public schools in Québec are located less than 750 metres from a fast food restaurant.
- Close to two-thirds (63.6%) of public schools have at least one convenience store within a radius of 750 metres.
- Half (51.2%) of public schools have at least one recreational facility less than 750 metres away.
- Close to two-thirds (63.3%) of the most disadvantaged public schools have a built environment characterized by high walkability.
- Less than half (42.7%) of public schools have at least one bike path within a radius of 750 metres.
- Actions could be initiated to establish environments more conducive to healthy lifestyle habits around schools.