The Importance of a Multi-Dimensional Approach for Studying the Links between Food Access and Consumption

ArticleinJournal of Nutrition 140(6):1170-4 · June 2010with12 Reads
DOI: 10.3945/jn.109.113159 · Source: PubMed
Research on neighborhood food access has focused on documenting disparities in the food environment and on assessing the links between the environment and consumption. Relatively few studies have combined in-store food availability measures with geographic mapping of stores. We review research that has used these multi-dimensional measures of access to explore the links between the neighborhood food environment and consumption or weight status. Early research in California found correlations between red meat, reduced-fat milk, and whole-grain bread consumption and shelf space availability of these products in area stores. Subsequent research in New York confirmed the low-fat milk findings. Recent research in Baltimore has used more sophisticated diet assessment tools and store-based instruments, along with controls for individual characteristics, to show that low availability of healthy food in area stores is associated with low-quality diets of area residents. Our research in southeastern Louisiana has shown that shelf space availability of energy-dense snack foods is positively associated with BMI after controlling for individual socioeconomic characteristics. Most of this research is based on cross-sectional studies. To assess the direction of causality, future research testing the effects of interventions is needed. We suggest that multi-dimensional measures of the neighborhood food environment are important to understanding these links between access and consumption. They provide a more nuanced assessment of the food environment. Moreover, given the typical duration of research project cycles, changes to in-store environments may be more feasible than changes to the overall mix of retail outlets in communities.
    • "The perceptions of having to travel a far distance to food vendors and of a generally unhealthy food environment among the tribal members surveyed are consistent with findings that increased distance to supermarkets was associated with decreases in perceived availability of healthy food in a rural context [42]. Our findings are also consistent with Rose's economic model of food choice [43], which suggests negative perceptions of the food environment are held by populations who face high travel costs in the acquisition of food [44]. Limitations should be noted. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives To describe the food environments experienced by American Indians living on tribal lands in California. Methods Geocoded statewide food business data were used to define and categorize existing food vendors into healthy, unhealthy, and intermediate composite categories. Distance to and density of each of the composite food vendor categories for tribal lands and nontribal lands were compared using multivariate linear regression. Quantitative results were concurrently triangulated with qualitative data from in-depth interviews with tribal members (n = 24). Results After adjusting for census tract-level urbanicity and per capita income, results indicate there were significantly fewer healthy food outlets per square mile for tribal areas compared to non-tribal areas. Density of unhealthy outlets was not significantly different for tribal versus non-tribal areas. Tribal members perceived their food environment negatively and reported barriers to the acquisition of healthy food. Conclusions Urbanicity and per capita income do not completely account for disparities in food environments among American Indians tribal lands compared to nontribal lands. This disparity in access to healthy food may present a barrier to acting on the intention to consume healthy food.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "Following these cues, the FCQ was modified to include context, culture, and individual differences (Pula et al., 2014) as well as items related to food image such as product awareness created by media, experts, and the environment (Gagic, Jovicic, Tesanovic, & Kalenjuk, 2014). Other food choice models revealed that life course events, influences and personal food systems (Sobal & Bisogni, 2009), economic and neighborhood (proximity) aspects (Rose et al., 2010 ) as well as product quality considerations , individual differences, and environmental factors determine food choices (Marreiros & Ness, 2009). In addition, other studies dwelt on factors influencing young construction apprentices (Du Plessis, 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nutritional knowledge as well as economic, social, biological, and cultural factors have been known to determine an individual’s food choices. Despite the existence of research on the factors which influence nutrition globally, there is little known about the extent to which these factors influence the food choices of construction workers, which in turn influence their health and safety during construction activities. The present article investigates the extent to which construction workers’ nutrition is influenced by nutritional knowledge, as well as economic, environmental, social, psychological, and physiological factors. A field questionnaire survey was conducted on site construction workers in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. Principal components analysis and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that consumption of foods termed alternative foods including dairy products, eggs, nuts, fish, and cereals, was influenced by nutritional knowledge and resources. Foods termed traditional core foods were influenced by cultural background; foods termed secondary core foods comprising fruits and vegetables were influenced by economic factors, resources, and cultural background; while foods termed core foods were mostly influenced by nutritional knowledge. By providing evidence of the factors which most influence selection and consumption of certain foods by construction workers, relevant nutrition interventions will be designed and implemented, taking cognizance of these factors.
    Article · Jan 2016
    • "If such processes are not feasible, all POP items chosen and developed by intervention program staff should be preapproved by managers and employees so that they are accepted and are practical to their stores. The various dimensions of a consumer food environment (physical, social, and dual) are important to consider in terms of the perspectives of store managers and employees for the development of in-store interventions (Gittelsohn et al. 2007; Rose et al. 2010). Doing so will help to identify which dimensions are most relevant to specific consumer food environments and grocery shoppers, which in turn will help to identify potential avenues for intervention. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To inform the design of a multilevel in-store intervention, this qualitative study utilized in-depth semistructured interviews with 28 managers and 10 employees of small-to-medium-sized Latino food stores (tiendas) in San Diego, California, to identify factors within the tienda that may influence Latino customers' grocery-shopping experiences and behaviors. Qualitative data analysis, guided by grounded theory, was performed using open coding. Results suggest that future interventions should focus on the physical (i.e., built structures) and social (i.e., economic and sociocultural) dimensions of store environments, including areas where the two dimensions interact, to promote the purchase of healthy food among customers.
    Article · Jan 2016
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