The availability of fast-food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight, suggest the findings of a novel study. Reducing the rate of childhood obesity is a top public health priority in the United States where obesity rates are 18.4 per cent for those ages 6-11 and 20.6 per cent for those ages 12-19. Childhood obesity is a documented risk-factor for negative physical and mental health outcomes. Obese children are also more likely to become obese adults and suffer associated health problems. Researchers have proposed that the accessibility of affordable healthy food options may be an important determinant of childhood weight. Many public health figures are concerned about the role of fast-food restaurants on food consumption and resulting in obesity in children.