Neighbourhood socioeconomic inequalities in food access and affordability

Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood VIC 3125, Australia.
Health & Place (Impact Factor: 2.81). 11/2008; 15(2):578-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.09.010
Source: PubMed


This study investigated whether the availability and accessibility of supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stores, and the availability, variety and price of foods within these stores, varied across areas of different levels of socioeconomic disadvantage in Melbourne, Australia. Data on food store locations, and food variety and price within stores were obtained through objective audits of 45 neighbourhoods of varying socioeconomic disadvantage. Geographical accessibility of healthy food stores was mostly better amongst those living in more advantaged neighbourhoods. Availability of healthy foods within stores only slightly favoured those in advantaged neighbourhoods. However food prices favoured those living in disadvantaged areas.

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    • "We were also unable to access Yellow Pages for all years across the study period. While using commercial directories to measure the food environment can present such issues, they have been used for this purpose in a number of other studies (Macdonald et al., 2007; Ball et al., 2009; Burgoine et al., 2009). Due to changing ward boundaries, we were limited to using wardbased 2001 population and deprivation estimates across all time points studied. "
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    ABSTRACT: Socioeconomic disparities in the food environment are known to exist but with little understanding of change over time. This study investigated the density of takeaway food outlets and presence of supermarkets in Norfolk, UK between 1990 and 2008. Data on food retail outlet locations were collected from telephone directories and aggregated within electoral wards. Supermarket presence was not associated with area deprivation over time. Takeaway food outlet density increased overall, and was significantly higher in more deprived areas at all time points; furthermore, socioeconomic disparities in takeaway food outlet density increased across the study period. These findings add to existing evidence and help assess the need for environmental interventions to reduce disparities in the prevalence of unhealthy food outlets. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Health & Place
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    • "A great proportion of tools measure two in-store factors: availability and price [11,12,15]. A smaller number of tools have assessed variety and/or quality of fruit and vegetables [16-18], in-store advertising and/or product placement [13,19,20] or price promotions and nutrition labelling [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The consumer nutrition environment has been conceptualised as in-store environmental factors that influence food shopping habits. More healthful in-store environments could be characterised as those which promote healthful food choices such as selling good quality healthy foods or placing them in prominent locations to prompt purchasing. Research measuring the full-range of in-store environmental factors concurrently is limited. To develop a summary score of ‘healthfulness’ composed of nine in-store factors that influence food shopping behaviour, and to assess this score by store type and neighbourhood deprivation. A cross-sectional survey of 601 retail food stores, including supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores, was completed in Hampshire, United Kingdom between July 2010 and June 2011. The survey measured nine variables (variety, price, quality, promotions, shelf placement, store placement, nutrition information, healthier alternatives and single fruit sale) to assess the healthfulness of retail food stores on seven healthy and five less healthy foods that are markers of diet quality. Four steps were completed to create nine individual variable scores and another three to create an overall score of healthfulness for each store. Analysis of variance showed strong evidence of a difference in overall healthfulness by store type (p < 0.001). Large and premium supermarkets offered the most healthful shopping environments for consumers. Discount supermarkets, ‘world’, convenience and petrol stores offered less healthful environments to consumers however there was variation across the healthfulness spectrum. No relationship between overall healthfulness and neighbourhood deprivation was observed (p = 0.1). A new composite measure of nine variables that can influence food choices was developed to provide an overall assessment of the healthfulness of retail food stores. This composite score could be useful in future research to measure the relationship between main food store and quality of diet, and to evaluate the effects of multi-component food environment interventions.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
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    • "It is also noteworthy that there is evidence of fast food and other unhealthy food outlets being more common in deprived areas in the UK (Cummins et al., 2005; Fraser and Edwards, 2010; Macdonald et al., 2007) and abroad (Pearce et al., 2007; Utter et al., 2011). On the other hand environments that are supportive of a wider range of food choice, including healthy food as defined by dietary standards (Kelly et al., 2010), are more common in higher social-class neighbourhoods (Ball et al., 2009). These social gradients are particularly pertinent given the evidence that features of the food environment are associated with both the dietary behaviours and weight status of children (Sallis and Glanz, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Using a large cross sectional English sample, we quantified the association between weight status in children aged 4–5 and 10–11 yrs, characteristics of the food environment, and area deprivation. We observed a positive association between the density of unhealthy food outlets in a neighbourhood and the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children. An association in the opposite direction was observed for other types of food outlets, although after adjustment this was only statistically significant for older children. The prevalence of fast food and other unhealthy food outlets explained only a small proportion of the observed associations between weight status and socioeconomic deprivation. Children's weight status may be influenced by their local environment, particularly older children, but associations between obesity and deprivation appear not strongly due to local food environment characteristics.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Health & Place
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