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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Neighborhood characteristics and disparities in access to nutritious foods

Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, 245 N. 15th Street, Mail Stop 660, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215-762-6512, mmc33@drexel.edu

Background: African American and Latino populations have high rates of diet-related disease, which may be due, in part, to lack of access to nutritious foods. In Philadelphia, location of supermarkets may be associated with poor health at the neighborhood level. Objectives: This study sought to document disparities in access to nutritious foods in Philadelphia neighborhoods by assessing location and quality of food stores ranging from supermarket to corner store. Methods: This multi-method study utilized GIS analysis to assess relationships between food store location/type, and ethnicity, family poverty, car ownership and education. Brief surveys of 147 stores in seven neighborhoods (chosen on the basis of ethnicity and family poverty level) collected availability and quality of fruits and vegetables, skim milk, whole grains, and 100% juice. Prices of items most available were recorded. Ethnographic assessments including photographs and informal interviews addressed history and customer relations. Results: GIS analysis reveals notable differences by neighborhood and type of store for Philadelphia County. Approximately 90% of all food stores in seven neighborhoods were surveyed. SPSS analysis of variations in availability, quality and price of items reveal non-statistically significant differences by neighborhood. Ethnographic assessments revealed wide variability in immigrant ownership of stores, store quality and neighborhood characteristics. Conclusions: Preliminary analyses suggests that while spatial analysis may provide useable results, food assessments need to be more sensitive and comprehensive regarding quality and availability of foods in stores, including attention to ambience, and other neighborhood factors, such as community boundaries and violence.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Health Disparities, Food and Nutrition

    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.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Environmental Factors and Obesity

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA