The socio-spatial relationship between Los Angeles County youth health and food establishments

This research assesses the relationship the health of youth in Los Angeles County and neighborhood access to food establishments. The California Department of Education Physical Fitness Tests were used in conjunction with census variables to assess the effect of easy accessibility to fast food restaurants has on the health of school aged children in Los Angeles County. Spatial statistics and GIS were used to measure the relationship. Location Quotient (LQ) was used to measure the relative access of neighborhoods to fast food restaurants and grocery stores in the county. Additionally, linear regression models and geographically weighted regression (GWR) were used to measure the effect of the built environment on youth health. The results indicate that access to fast food has a modest effect on health outcomes among young people in Los Angeles.