The Relationship between the Food Store Environment and Race, Ethnicity, Income and Health Academic Article uri icon


  • BackgroundA lack of healthy food stores is associated with obesity and a high proportion of Black residents.ObjectivesTo examine the distribution and concentration of 721 food stores in a large urban county in the Southeastern U.S. We also examine how the presence and concentration of stores and types of stores are related to race/ethnicity, income, and premature heart disease and diabetes mortality.Design and MethodsCross sectional analysis using census block groups, or neighborhoods. Zeroinflated negative binomial and ordinal least square regression examined the relationship between the availability of certain types of food stores, the ratio between nonfull service stores that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in relation to full service stores that accept SNAP benefits (SNAP store ratio), and demographic and health characteristics.ResultsNearly twothirds of neighborhoods did not include a full service food store; 60 of which were defined as food deserts. Neighborhoods with higher proportions of Hispanics or Asians were associated with having more food stores. Each additional full service food store was associated with a decrease in 23 per 100,000 premature heart disease deaths. An increase in the ratio SNAP store ratio was associated with an increase in 18 per 100,000 premature deaths to heart disease.ConclusionsNeighborhood access to nutritious food is important, especially for lowincome communities. Since many residents of lowincome neighborhoods are SNAP participants, the types of foods offered at SNAP approved stores may affect their health.This study was funded by the Mecklenburg County, NC Health Department

published proceedings

  • The FASEB Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Racine, E., Wang, Q., & Laditka, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Racine, Elizabeth||Wang, Qingfang||Laditka, Sarah

publication date

  • April 2011