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Alternative food sources (AFS) such as local markets in disadvantaged areas are promising strategies for preventing chronic disease and reducing health inequalities. The present study assessed how sociodemographic characteristics, physical access and fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption are associated with market use in a newly opened F&V market next to a subway station in a disadvantaged neighbourhood.
Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted among adults: (i) on-site, among shoppers who had just bought F&V and (ii) a telephone-based population survey among residents living within 1 km distance from the market.
One neighbourhood in Montreal (Canada) with previously limited F&V offerings.
Respectively, 218 shoppers and 335 residents completed the on-site and telephone-based population surveys.
Among shoppers, 23 % were low-income, 56 % did not consume enough F&V and 54 % did not have access to a car. Among all participants living 1 km from the market (n 472), market usage was associated (OR; 95 % CI) with adequate F&V consumption (1·86; 1·10, 3·16), living closer to the market (for distance: 0·86; 0·76, 0·97), having the market on the commute route (2·77; 1·61, 4·75) and not having access to a car (2·96; 1·67, 5·26).
When implemented in strategic locations such as transport hubs, AFS like F&V markets offer a promising strategy to improve F&V access among populations that may be constrained in their food acquisition practices, including low-income populations and those relying on public transportation.
To examine associations between the availability of residential-area food sources and dietary patterns among seniors.
Cross-sectional analyses. Individual-level data from the NuAge study on nutrition and healthy ageing were merged with geographic information system data on food store availability and area-level social composition. Two dietary patterns reflecting lower- and higher-quality diets (respectively designated ‘western’ and ‘prudent’) were identified from FFQ data. Two food source relative availability measures were calculated for a 500 m road-network buffer around participants’ homes: (i) proportion of fast-food outlets (%FFO) relative to all restaurants and (ii) proportion of stores potentially selling healthful foods (%HFS, healthful food stores) relative to all food stores. Associations between dietary patterns and food source exposure were tested in linear regression models accounting for individual (health and sociodemographic) and area-level (socio-economic and ethnicity) covariates.
Montréal metropolitan area, Canada.
Urban-dwelling older adults (n 751), aged 68 to 84 years.
%FFO was inversely associated with prudent diet (β = −0·105; P < 0·05) and this association remained statistically significant in models accounting for %HFS. %HFS was inversely associated with lower western diet scores (β = −0·124; P < 0·01). This latter association no longer reached significance once models were adjusted for area-level covariates.
In Montréal, the food environment is related to the diet of older adults but these links are more complex than straightforward. The absence of significant relationships between healthful food stores and prudent diets, and between fast-food outlets and western diets, deserves further investigation.
To understand more specifically how the quality, quantity and frequency of snack food consumption differs in different BMI categories.
Four hundred and forty-nine school-aged children (grade 4–6) from a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) community provided a 24 h recall and their height and weight in 1994, 1998 and 2002, in three independent cross-sectional samples. Food consumed between two consecutive meals was defined as a snacking occasion. ANOVA and χ2 tests were used to compare food choices between BMI categories according to food quality criteria and food groups in 2006. Logistic regression models were performed to compare results between normal-weight children and those at risk of overweight and between normal-weight and overweight children.
Energy intake from snacks tended to be higher for children at risk of overweight, compared with the other two BMI categories. Food groups with a higher energy density were also consumed more frequently by these children, with larger average portions of cereal bars (P < 0·05). Except for dessert consumption, which was less frequent among overweight children, no other variable distinguished risk of overweight in the two logistic regression models tested.
Differences detected in snack food intake between normal-weight children and children at risk of overweight could explain in part the relationship between food choices and risk of overweight. Studies of dietary differences in conjunction with body weight would benefit from considering children at risk of overweight and normal-weight children, rather than children with excess weight only.
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