“Competitive” food and beverage policies and weight status: A systematic review of the evidence among sociodemographic subgroups

Emma V. Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Mika Matsuzaki, Maria Elena Acosta, Sahana Vasanth, Erika Rachelle Dugay, Brisa N. Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Prior studies identified variable associations between competitive food and beverage policies (CF&B) and youth obesity, potentially due to differences across population subgroups. This review summarizes the evidence on associations between CF&B policies and childhood obesity within gender, grade level/ age, race/ethnicity, and/or socioeconomic levels. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and ERIC database searches identified studies published in English in Canada and the United States between January 1, 2000, and February 28, 2022. Of the 18 selected studies, six were cross-sectional, two correlational, nine were before/after designs, and one study utilized both a cross-sectional and pre–post design. Twelve studies reported findings stratified by a single sociodemographic factor, with grade level/age as the most frequently reported. Although the evidence varied, greater consistency in direction of associations and strengths of evidence were seen among middle school students. Six studies reported findings jointly by multiple sociodemographic subgroups with evidence suggesting CF&B associations with slower rate of increase or plateaus or declines in obesity among multiple subgroups, though the strengths of evidence varied. Over the past two decades, there have been relatively limited subgroup analyses on studies about CF&B policies and childhood obesity. Studies are needed with stronger designs and analyses disaggregated, particularly by race/ethnicities and socioeconomic factors, across places and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13678
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • demographic subgroups
  • nutrition policies
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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