Neighborhood Fruit and Vegetable Availability and Consumption: The Role of Small Food Stores in an Urban Environment

Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
Public Health Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.68). 05/2008; 11(4):413-20. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980007000493
Source: PubMed


Previous studies on the relationship of dietary intake to the neighbourhood food environment have focused on access to supermarkets, quantified by geographic distance or store concentration measures. However, in-store food availability may also be an important determinant, particularly for urban neighbourhoods with a greater concentration of small food stores. This study synthesises both types of information - store access and in-store availability - to determine their potential relationship to fruit and vegetable consumption.
Residents in four census tracts were surveyed in 2001 about their fruit and vegetable intake. Household distances to food stores in these and surrounding tracts were obtained using geographical information system mapping techniques. In-store fruit and vegetable availability was measured by linear shelf space. Multivariate linear regression models were used to measure the association of these neighbourhood availability measures with consumption.
Four contiguous census tracts in central-city New Orleans.
A random sample of 102 households.
Greater fresh vegetable availability within 100 m of a residence was a positive predictor of vegetable intake; each additional metre of shelf space was associated with 0.35 servings per day of increased intake. Fresh fruit availability was not associated with intake, although having a small food store within this same distance was a marginal predictor of fruit consumption.
The findings suggest the possible importance of small neighbourhood food stores and their fresh produce availability in affecting fruit and vegetable intake.

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    • "As Morland et al . ( 2002 ) or Bodor , Rose , Farley , Swalm , and Scott ( 2008 ) suggest , the price of fruits and vegetables may not be decisive for their consumption ; the acces - sibility of the grocery stores seems to be a more important factor . Significant contrasts occur in assessment of the food items pri - ces in individual large grocery stores . "
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    ABSTRACT: Delimitation tools and definitions of food deserts have not been internationally unified so far. Such comprehension ambiguity may lead to variability in research methods as well as to terminology mismatch in the research. In general, assessment of accessibility of selected (large-scale) food stores network in a region is considered as a suitable tool to identify the food deserts, but this is certainly not the only approach. In our paper some other approaches (such as measuring quality, variability and food price) are assessed together with supermarkets and hypermarkets accessibility examination. Results gained by analyses based on various methodological approaches are then compared and confronted, which simultaneously allows us to compare the individual approaches. For our case study purposes, the largest housing estate in Slovakia's capital city was selected.
    Applied Geography 08/2015; 62(August):8-18. DOI:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.04.003 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    • "While this research has provided a useful starting point for analyzing food access, it has used inconsistent classification systems to categorize different food outlet types as proxies for healthy or unhealthy food access (Caspi et al., 2012). In addition, because a wide variety of unhealthy foods are marketed in large grocery stores, and many small neighborhood stores sell fruits and vegetables , research that relies only on store types to evaluate healthy food access may not accurately assess the quality of the food environment (Bodor et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Differential access to healthy foods has been hypothesized to contribute to disparities in eating behaviors and health outcomes. While food deserts have been researched extensively in developed Anglophone countries, evidence from low- and middle-income countries is still scarce. In Mexico, prevalence of obesity is among the highest worldwide. As obesity has increased nationally and become a widespread public health issue, it is becoming concentrated in the low-income population. This mixed-methods study uses a multidimensional approach to analyze food environments in a low-, middle-, and high-income community in a Mexican city. The study advances understanding of the role that food environments may play in shaping eating patterns by analyzing the density and proximity of food outlet types as well as the variety, quantity, quality, pricing, and promotion of different foods. These measures are combined with in-depth qualitative research with families in the communities, including photo elicitation, to assess perceptions of food access. The central aims of the research were to evaluate physical and economic access and exposure to healthy and unhealthy foods in communities of differing socioeconomic status as well as participants' subjective perceptions of such access and exposure. The findings suggest a need to reach beyond a narrow focus on food store types and the distance from residence to grocery stores when analyzing food access. Results show that excessive access and exposure to unhealthy foods and drinks, or "food swamps," may be a greater concern than food deserts for obesity-prevention policy in Mexico. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 08/2015; 142:202-213. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.08.010 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    • "The findings concerning relationship between neighborhood environment and adolescent FVI have been mixed. Some studies found that greater access to neighborhood convenience stores, restaurants, and fast food facilities, has been associated with low FVI, obesity and low diet quality [90] [91] [92]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) is an important factor in the preservation of health and the prevention of disease. Many dietary habits established during adolescence continue into adulthood, such as FVI. According to the World Health Organization, the daily FVI of adolescents was below the recommended values worldwide, despite the long-term health benefits associated with FVI. In this chapter, we updated and expanded previous research about factors influencing FVI during adolescence. Due to inductive thematic analysis based on Social Ecological Theory and Social Cognitive Theory, we identified three key factors that influence FVI: (a) individual factors (e.g., gender, age, knowledge, self-efficacy, taste preference and liking of FV, outcome expectations/expectancies, skill in preparing fruit and vegetable); (b) social factors (e.g., parents intake and modeling, parents and family support, family meals, peers influence); and (c) environmental factors (e.g., income, parents occupational status, parents education, household availability, school availability, neighborhood, television viewing). Development strategies and effective intervention programs aimed to increase FVI and to promote adolescents' healthy dietary behaviors could be achieved by understanding the relationship between FVI and above factors.
    Human Health and Nutrition: New Research, 1 edited by Sergej M. Ostojic, 08/2015: chapter 9: pages pp. 183-200; Nova Science Publishers., ISBN: 978-1-63482-823-9
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