The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4202.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 2:42 PM

Abstract #58859

Access, income and racial composition: Dietary patterns aren't just a personal choice

Elizabeth A. Baker, PhD1, Deidre Williams, BA, (MPH -5/03)1, Cheryl Kelly, MA1, M.S. Nanney, MS, RD1, Ha Vo1, Ellen Barnidge1, Mario Schootman, PhD2, James Struthers2, and Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD1. (1) School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104, 314-977-3218,, (2) Department of Medicine and Pediatrics, Washington University, 4444 Forest Park, Campus Box 8504, St. Louis, MO 63110

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which dietary behavior among urban African Americans is associated with access (healthy options at grocery stores, distance to grocery stores), income and racial composition of the community. Methods: Individual level responses to the Eating Patterns Questionnaire were aggregated to a school district level. Community audits were conducted to determine access to high nutritional quality fruits and vegetables (vitamin C, A, and Beta carotene) and lean meat and low fat dairy products. Geographic information systems were used to map dietary intake and compare this to access as defined by both distance to the store (median distance) and the quality of food available. Information on income and racial composition of the community were obtained from the 2000 census. Results: Results showed that: 1) communities with the least access and lowest income had the shortest median distance to the grocery store yet were least likely to exhibit healthy eating patterns; 2) Communities with moderate incomes exhibited medium level eating patterns even with high access and sites with higher incomes exhibited better eating patterns even when the quality of food was not as good at the stores within the site. Site level racial composition did not predict behavior. Conclusion: Findings suggest that income and quality of food within a store (not just distance) may need to be considered in understanding factors that influence dietary patterns. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Nutrition Assessment and Surveillance: Guiding Research and Program Development

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA