206662 Communities of excellence in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention (CX3) project uses GIS mapping of low-income neighborhood food environments

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:15 AM

Alyssa Ghirardelli, MPH, RD , California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California, Sacramento, CA
Valerie Quinn, MEd , California Department of Public Health, Network for a Healthy California, Sacramento, CA
Mathew Stone, MPH , California Department of Public Health, Health Information and Srategic Planning, Sacramneto, CA
Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD , Cancer Control Branch, Network for a Healthy California, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Growing evidence shows the connection between the retail food environment and rates of obesity, overweight and other health conditions. Documenting conditions such as access to supermarkets and proximity of fast food to schools in low-income neighborhoods to accurately convey the food environment is an important strategy for stimulating community action and policies. Since 2006, over 80 low-income neighborhoods in California have been assessed by 23 health departments through Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3). Developed by the Network for a Healthy California, California Department of Public Health, CX3 is an evidence-based, program planning and policy promotion framework. Standardized tools and methods have been developed for measuring indicators in the neighborhood food environment using a combination of GIS mapping and field surveys. Each site chooses 3-7 low income neighborhoods defined by census tracts. The GIS-based methods are used to gather an initial look at community food environments which can inform decision making and survey work. GIS data show an estimated 57% of low-income neighborhood populations are not served by a grocery store within a mile for residents, 31% of neighborhoods have a farmers' market, 82% within 5 miles, with 63% of markets within 5 miles having convenient public transit. A saturation of fast food in neighborhoods is evident with a worst case scenario of 28 restaurants in one census tract. An average ratio of fast food outlets to the population was 1 for 1064 people and neighborhood schools have an average of 6 fast food outlets within mile.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Network for a Healthy California GIS Map Viewer. 2. Recognize methods for assessing community food environments using a GIS. 3. Discuss challenges and opportunities in program planning and policy promotion using GIS.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have expertise in research and statewide program planning. I have provided training to health departments to use GIS and research methods throught the state of California and developed the community-based tools for use in addressing food and nutrition issues in low-income areas.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.