266743 Using tax credits to introduce supermarkets in low-income areas: The influence on healthy eating

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH , NYU School of Medicine and NYC Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York, NY
Tod Mijanovich, PhD , Center for Health and Public Service Research, New York University, New York, NY
Beth Dixon, PhD, MPH , Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University, New York, NY
Kamila Kiszko, MPH , Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Courtney Abrams, MA , Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Background: New York City recently implemented an incentive program to introduce supermarkets into high-need areas, aiming to change the food environment and improve healthy eating. This policy is being considered nationally, with little known about effectiveness. This project examines the influence of recently-introduced supermarkets on shopping and food consumption among residents of a low-income area of the Bronx, NYC.

Methods: We collected data from the intervention and a control community before and after the supermarket opening in 2011, using a difference-in-difference design to examine impacts on adults and on children 3-10. Prior to opening, data was collected from 2200 adults (850 parents) via street-intercept surveys assessing fruit, vegetable and snack consumption (using dietary screeners), along with shopping patterns. We also included follow-up 24-hour dietary recalls of 603 participants (207 parents). After opening, data was collected from 2130 adults (838 parents) with 839 follow-up dietary recalls (346 parents).

Results: For children, respondents were 56% Hispanic and 39% Black. Half of families had an annual household income <$5,000. Most children (90%) consumed at least one homemade meal daily. Over half consumed 1 or fewer servings of vegetables and 2 or fewer servings of fruit daily. We will present difference-in-difference results for children and for adults.

Conclusions: With similar fresh food financing initiatives being implemented nationwide, we expect the results of this study to inform policy. We will provide an in-depth analysis of food consumption in a low-income area with little access to fresh food before and after a full-service supermarket is introduced.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain whether healthy eating increases among low-income children and adults after a new supermarket is introduced through tax and zoning incentives. 2. Explain whether unhealthy eating increases among low-income children and adults after a new supermarket is introduced through tax and zoning incentives. 3. Describe how residential distance from a new supermarket affects healthy eating changes.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the PI of multiple federally funded grants focusing on nutrition/obesity policy. I am particularly focused on how policy and environmental approaches influence health and health care, with a particular emphasis on obesity and food choice.
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.