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Prev Med Rep. 2015 Jan 6;2:47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2014.12.009. eCollection 2015.

Fresh produce consumption and the association between frequency of food shopping, car access, and distance to supermarkets.

Author information

1
Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States; Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2000, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States.
2
Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States; Department of Global Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2300, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fresh fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. Distance to a supermarket has been associated with the ability to access fresh produce.

METHODS:

A randomly sampled telephone survey was conducted with the main shopper for 3000 households in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2011. Individuals were asked where and how often they shopped for groceries, frequency of consumption of a variety of foods, and whether they had access to a car. Bivariate models assessed the relationship between four outcomes: car access, distance to the store patronized by the respondent, number of monthly shopping trips, and daily servings of produce. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to distinguish direct and indirect effects.

RESULTS:

In bivariate models, car access was positively associated with number of shopping trips and produce consumption while distance was inversely associated with shopping trips. In SEM models, produce consumption was not associated with car access or distance, but to the number of monthly shopping trips.

CONCLUSION:

The frequency of shopping is associated with car access but a further distance deters it. Access to stores closer to the shopper may promote more frequent shopping and consumption of produce.

KEYWORDS:

African American; BMI, body mass index; BRFSS, Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System; Car access; Distance; Produce consumption; SEM, structural equation modeling

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