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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Feb;24(1 Suppl):172-85. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2013.0049.

Does distance decay modelling of supermarket accessibility predict fruit and vegetable intake by individuals in a large metropolitan area?

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  • 1Charles Drew University and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Obesity, a risk factor for hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases is influenced by geographic accessibility to supermarkets, which has been shown to affect nutritional behaviors.


To determine how individual fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption was independently influenced by accessibility to supermarkets, and to quantify that relationship.


A distance decay based model was specified for a random sample (n=7,514) of urban residents. Associations between FV consumption and accessibility to supermarkets were explored, controlling for factors known to influence eating behaviors.


There was as independent effect of accessibility to supermarkets, even after the inclusion of the significant controlling factors of age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, and knowledge of nutritional guidelines.


Our model of accessibility was an effective predictor of FV consumption in an urban population, setting the stage for inclusion of supply and demand parameters, and estimation of local factors that contribute to differential obesity rates.

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