264289 Putting corner store makeovers in context: Food venues in East Los Angeles

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:35 PM - 12:47 PM

Jeremiah Garza, MA, MPH , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Brent Langellier, MA , Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Rosa-Elena Garcia, MPH , UCLA-USC Center for Population Health & Health Disparities, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: Many low-income communities of color have limited access to supermarkets but easy access to small corner stores. As a result, corner stores hold great potential for increasing access and availability to healthy foods in these areas. The UCLA/USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities used a mixed-methods approach to understand the role that corner stores play in the food purchasing and consumption behaviors of residents of East Los Angeles, California. Methods: We used GIS mapping to examine how the distribution of corner stores, supermarkets, and fast food restaurants in East LA compares to the rest of Los Angeles. We conducted 10 focus groups with 92 adult, mostly Latino, East LA residents to understand how they perceive corner stores, how often they frequent these stores, and what types of food they purchase there. Results: East LA neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets and more fast food restaurants and corner stores than most high-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles. However, focus group interviews revealed that East LA residents visit corner stores infrequently due to their perceptions that corner stores have lower-quality food, higher prices, and less desirable store environments than supermarkets. Focus group participants suggested changes that would make corner stores more appealing, including stocking a wider variety of fresh and healthy foods and reducing prices. Discussion: Results of this study is informing the development of an East LA ‘market makeover' intervention to offer and promote healthy foods and a community-based social marketing campaign to promote converted stores and healthy eating.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Describe the facilitators and barriers to accessing healthy foods in an underserved community. 2. Describe community use and perceptions of corner stores. 3. Identify specific store characteristics likely to translate into more residents shopping at ‘made over’ corner stores.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 4 years’ experience in place-based, policy-oriented, community-driven strategies to improve the nutrition resource environment in low-income, underserved communities with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, The California Endowment, and the UCLA/USC Center for Population Health & Health Disparities.
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.