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Health Place. 2014 May;27:171-5. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.02.009. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Mobile food vendors in urban neighborhoods-implications for diet and diet-related health by weather and season.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA. Electronic address: slucan@yahoo.com.
  • 2Department of Health Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY, USA; City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: Andrew.Maroko@lehman.cuny.edu.
  • 3Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA. Electronic address: joel.bumol@med.einstein.yu.edu.
  • 4Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Electronic address: mvarona1@gmail.com.
  • 5City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: edward.torrens@gmail.com.
  • 6Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA. Electronic address: clyde.schechter@einstein.yu.edu.

Abstract

This study describes mobile food vendors (street vendors) in Bronx, NY, considering neighborhood-level correlations with demographic, diet, and diet-related health measures from City data. Vendors offering exclusively "less-healthy" foods (e.g., chips, processed meats, sweets) outnumbered vendors offering exclusively "healthier" foods (e.g., produce, whole grains, nuts). Wet days and winter months reduced all vending on streets, but exclusively "less-healthy" vending most. In summer, exclusively "less-healthy" vending per capita inversely correlated with neighborhood-mean fruit-and-vegetable consumption and directly correlated with neighborhood-mean BMI and prevalences of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia (Spearman correlations 0.90-1.00, p values 0.037 to <0.001). In winter, "less-healthy" vending per capita directly correlated with proportions of Hispanic residents and those living in poverty (Spearman correlations 0.90, p values 0.037). Mobile food vending may contribute negatively to urban food-environment healthfulness overall, but exacerbation of demographic, diet, and diet-related health disparities may vary by weather, season, and neighborhood characteristics.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Disparities; Food environment; Mobile food vendors; Seasonality; Street foods

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