232665 Does neighborhood social economic status affect food selection?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Anthony Randles, MPH , Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Gary Liguori , Department 2620, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Arupendra Mozumdar, PhD , Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Background: Research on healthy food access has focused on neighborhood food availability as a key influence on dietary behaviors. This study examined the relationships between neighborhood SES, food store types, and availability of healthy foods during winter months in Fargo, ND. Methods: Trained surveyors used the Nutrition Environment Measure Survey-Stores (NEMS-S) to document availability of healthy food items in sixty retail food stores (96% of total community retail food stores) categorized as ‘ethnic grocery', ‘traditional grocery', and ‘convenience'. Healthy food items considered were fruits, vegetables, low fat/fat free milk, and reduced fat/ fat free items. Community neighborhoods are divided by elementary school district, allowing neighborhood SES to be determined by percent free and reduced price lunch and grouped as High or Low SES. Results: Cross tab analysis and chi-square test showed no significant relationship between neighborhood SES and store type (÷²=.665, p=.717). Significant relationships were determined between store type and three of the four healthy food categories (fruits: ÷²=12.61, p=.002; vegetables ÷²=19.67, p=<.001; low fat/fat free milk: ÷²=36.59, p=<.001). Significant relationships were noted between neighborhood SES and two healthy food categories (fruit: ÷²=8.95, p=.003; vegetables: ÷²=7.22, p=.007). Discussion: Retail food stores are a critical community resource for providing healthy nutrition choices. This research shows that store type, especially traditional grocery stores, has the greatest influence on availability of healthy foods, with SES also exerting some effect. Therefore, a lack of traditional grocery stores may limit the availability of healthy foods, regardless of other retail venues or neighborhood SES.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Objective 1: To discuss the influence SES has on retail food store type Objective 2: To describe the influence retail food store type has on healthy food choice availability Objective 3: To identify the association between SES and healthy food availability

Keywords: Access, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because as a current doctoral student I have attended NEMS Train-the-Trainer training and conduct NEMS workshops throughout North Dakota. I have also worked as a program manager for the NIH-funded, KCBEST environmental study.
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.