Perceived and objective measures of the food store environment and the association with weight and diet among low-income women in North Carolina
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OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to highlight the similarities and differences between perceived and objective measures of the food store environment among low-income women and the association with diet and weight. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of food store environment. Store level was characterized by: (i) the availability of healthy foods in stores where participants shop, using food store audits (objective); and (ii) summary scores of self-reported perception of availability of healthy foods in stores (perceived). Neighbourhood level was characterized by: (i) the number and type of food stores within the census tract (objective); and (2) summary scores of self-reported perception of availability of healthy foods (perceived). SETTING: Six counties in North Carolina. SUBJECTS: One hundred and eighty-six low-income women. RESULTS: Individuals who lived in census tracts with a convenience store and a supercentre had higher odds of perceiving their neighbourhood high in availability of healthy foods (OR = 6.87 (95 % CI 2.61, 18.01)) than individuals with no store. Overall, as the number of healthy foods available in the store decreased, the probability of perceiving that store high in availability of healthy foods increased. Individuals with a supercentre in their census tract weighed more (2.40 (95 % CI 0.66, 4.15) kg/m2) than individuals without one. At the same time, those who lived in a census tract with a supercentre and a convenience store consumed fewer servings of fruits and vegetables (-1.22 (95 % CI -2.40, -0.04)). CONCLUSIONS: The study contributes to a growing body of research aiming to understand how the food store environment is associated with weight and diet.
author list (cited authors)
Gustafson, A. A., Sharkey, J., Samuel-Hodge, C. D., Jones-Smith, J., Folds, M. C., Cai, J., & Ammerman, A. S.