267698 Analysis of Census Tract-Level Racial Disparities in Food Access from 1998 to 2009 in Cook County, IL

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:20 PM - 1:35 PM

Katherine Brewer, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Illinois - Chicago, Chicago, IL
Seijeoung Kim, PhD , School of Public Health, Health Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ifeanyi Chukwudozie, MPH , Institute for Health Research and Policy (IHRP), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Faith Davis, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta School of Public Health, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Charlotte Joslin, PhD , Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: African Americans (AA) in the United States have higher rates of chronic health problems than their White counterparts. Research has shown that obesity is linked to chronic health problems and that geographic areas with limited access to healthy food have higher rates of obesity. The segregated nature of Cook County, IL, allows examination of disparate geographic access to quality grocery stores in AA or White communities, and investigation of how food access has changed with neighborhood demographics over time. Methods: In this analysis, we examined change in availability of quality grocery stores by census tract over the years of 1998 to 2009, a time of transition for areas of Cook County. Geographic location of high grocery stores, using data obtained from Dun & Bradstreet, was mapped using kernel density (KD) estimation methods in ArcGIS and average KD scores for each census tract were used to divide tracts into quintiles of risk. Comparisons of high and low risk tracts were made by examining census-level sociodemographic variables. Multivariate longitudinal logistic models were also constructed to determine significant predictors of high risk areas over time. Results: Census-level variables such as low income, AA race, and poverty were significantly (p<0.05) associated with low density of quality grocery stores. In multivariate analyses, change in demographic variables at the census level over time predicted change in density of quality grocery stores, resulting in a decrease in quality food access in increasingly predominant AA communities from 1998 to 2009.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe racial disparities in access to quality grocery stores in Cook County, IL. 2. Compare census tract-level characteristics associated with presence or lack of access to quality food. 3. Explain how changes in census tract demographics over time are associated with, and may predict, changes in availability of grocery stores offering healthy foods.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student in Epidemiology currently working with the Center of Excellence in Eliminating Disparities at UIC, where I am focusing on health disparities and cancer research.
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.