262519 Access to fruits and vegetables is not sufficient to ensure consumption

Monday, October 29, 2012

Muriel J. Harris, PhD , Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Duke Appiah, MPH, CPH , School Of Public Health and Information Sciences, University Of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Sarojini Kanotra, PhD, MPH , Department for Public Health, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Frankfort, KY
Background: Overweight and obesity are serious public health problems that predispose individuals to high cost medical conditions. Obesity disproportionately affects people of lower socio-economic status. Method: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey was administered in Jefferson County in fall 2010, oversampling in twelve lower income neighborhoods.

Results: Of the 1,501 participants, 76% were Caucasians and 67% were overweight or obese with a median age of 45 years. Half were female, 14% had less than high school education, and 60% reported household incomes of less than $50,000. After adjusting for demographic factors and perceived neighborhood safety, access to healthy food (defined as being easy to purchase healthy food in one's neighborhood and less than 1 mile away) was not associated with consuming fruits and vegetables three or more times per day (OR=1.05, 95% CI: 0.60 - 1.84). However, participants with a high school education compared to college graduates (OR=0.39, 95% CI: 0.23 - 0.67) and obese individuals (OR=0.37, 95% CI: 0.22 - 0.64) were less likely to consume fruits and vegetables three or more times per day.

Conclusion: More innovative strategies for populations with low educational levels must be developed and evaluated. It is critical to increase consumption of healthy foods and to reduce rates of obesity and morbidity associated with chronic diseases.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify factors that influence consumption of fruits and vegetables 2. Identify strategies for improving information for low income populations

Keywords: Adult Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on the grant for which this study was undertaken and a professor in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences
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.