264359 Farmers markets: Contributor to improved health and wellness

Monday, October 29, 2012

Farryl Bertmann, MA, MS , School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Dana Ryan, MS , School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Christopher Wharton, PhD , School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Farmers markets (FMs) supply local fresh produce on a community level and could offer a solution to food access by bringing fresh fruits and vegetables within walking distance. FMs also create a sense of community thereby increasing quality of life. This presentation presents a novel investigation into the overlap of fruit and vegetable availability, physical activity patterns and perceptions of quality of life found when one visits their local FM. A survey was conducted at three markets in California and Arizona. The survey contained a demographic section, a previously validated quality of life and physical activity assessment section and participants' perceptions of their built environment. Chi-square tests were run to determine the relationship between frequency of visits to FMs and healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as the relationship between quality of life and healthy lifestyle behaviors. The relationship between income and education to quality of life, healthy lifestyle behaviors and visits to FMs was also examined. Results showed a significant positive association between number of FM visits and fruit and vegetable consumption (p=<0.001) as well as meeting PA requirements (p=<0.001). We also found a significant positive association between self-reported quality of life and access to fruits and vegetables (p=0.019) as well as compliance with PA requirements (p=0.045). This study suggests that shoppers who report frequent visits to FMs have increased access to quality fruits and vegetables and are more likely to be more physically activity, both of which have been shown to increase quality of life.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
List three indicators that link farmers markets to public health Define the built environment and its association with sense of community Assess methods of food access and their effects on health outcomes

Keywords: Community Building, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness PhD program at Arizona State University where my scientific interests have been investigating sustainable food systems and food security issues. I am also first author on a recently accepted article about Farmers Market to the American Journal of Public Health.
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.