225017 Neighborhood deprivation, neighborhood acculturation, and the retail food environment in a US-Mexico border urban area

Monday, November 8, 2010

Teresa Anchondo, BS , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Paula B. Ford, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Background: There is growing evidence that retail food environments vary by neighborhood socioeconomic and racial/ethnic composition. Most research in food environments has focused on the availability of supermarkets because they are associated with greater variety and reduced food prices. However, small grocery stores and specialty stores may provide culturally appropriate foods that allow immigrants to retain healthy components of their traditional diets. The primary aim of this research was to determine the association between neighborhood retail food environment, neighborhood deprivation, and neighborhood acculturation within an urban area (>85% Hispanic) on the US-Mexico border.

Methods: Retail food store listings (n = 781) were obtained from the El Paso Department of Public Health and geocoded within ArcGIS® v 9.3 (Redlands, CA). Stores were categorized into store types:1) chain supermarkets (n = 39); grocery stores (n = 137); convenience stores (n = 245); produce stores, meat markets, and bakeries (specialty) (n = 206); and variety stores (n = 154). Neighborhood deprivation and neighborhood acculturation indices at the tract level were extracted by principal components analysis using socioeconomic, housing, occupational, immigration, and language variables. Bivariate correlations, controlling for population density in tract, were used to determine the association between neighborhood deprivation, acculturation, and store availability. Regression analyses, using Poisson and negative binomial distributions, were run to examine whether neighborhood acculturation modified the relationship between neighborhood deprivation and store availability.

Results: After controlling for population density, supermarket availability and convenience store availability were not associated with neighborhood deprivation or neighborhood acculturation. However, the availability of grocery store and specialty stores was highly correlated with both neighborhood deprivation and neighborhood acculturation. Regression analyses indicated that the availability of grocery and specialty stores were significantly greater in tracts of low neighborhood acculturation, but did not vary by neighborhood deprivation.

Conclusions: Retail food environments in border environments may not exhibit the same patterns of those in other urban areas. Neighborhood acculturation, as opposed to neighborhood deprivation, appears to be the key environmental characteristic associated with retail food environment. Further research on the role of retail food environments on the dietary acculturation process is needed.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate neighborhood deprivation, neighborhood acculturation and the retail food environments in a U.S.-Mexico border urban area. Identify whether the level of neighborhood acculturation moderates the influence of neighborhood deprivation on food environments.

Keywords: Immigrants, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research, analyzed the data and wrote the abstract. I am a student at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Texas at El Paso.
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.