248484 Association between local food environment and obesity in California adults

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:10 AM

Demetria Malloy, MD , Department of Medicine/Division of Health Services, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Susan Babey, PhD , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Joelle Wolstein, MPP , UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS , School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Increasing associations have been found between the local retail food environment, dietary behaviors and health outcomes. A standardized measurement that can be used across different types of food environments has not yet been established. Using geocoded data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), and the 2007 private business database, we examined the association between the food environment using the RFEI (Retail Food Environment Index - a ratio of less nutritious food vendors to more nutritious food vendors) and obesity. We also examined the associations of race/ethnicity and income with variation in RFEI. A higher RFEI represents a higher density of less nutritious food vendors to more nutritious food vendors. The prevalence of obesity among California adults is 22.5%. Lower income, minority race/ethnicity and obesity are associated with living in areas with higher RFEI. 36.3 % of lower income adults (0-199% FPL) compared to32.1% of higher income adults (>400% FPL) live in areas of the highest RFEI (>8) (p<0.05). 39.2%% of African-Americans and 36.3% of Latinos compared to 32.1% of whites live in these least healthy food environments (p<0.05). Additionally, 24.6% of people who live in areas of the highest RFEI (>8) are obese, while in areas with the lowest RFEI (<4) 20.6% of adults are obese. Improving the retail food environment could help improve dietary behaviors and reduce the risk for obesity among California adults.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how food environment can be measured. Describe how food environment differs by adult race/ethnicity and poverty level/income. Discuss the relationship between the food environment and adult obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this project and am a medical doctor (internist) who treats obesity.
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.