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To determine whether residence in a US Department of Agriculture-designated food desert is associated with perceived access to healthy foods, grocery shopping behaviours, diet and BMI among a national sample of primary food shoppers.
Data for the present study came from a self-administered cross-sectional survey administered in 2015. Residential addresses of respondents were geocoded to determine whether their census tract of residence was a designated food desert or not. Inverse probability of treatment-weighted regression was used to assess whether residence in a food desert was associated with dependent variables of interest.
Of 4942 adult survey respondents, residential addresses of 75·0 % (n 3705) primary food shoppers were included in the analysis.
Residence in a food desert (11·1 %, n 411) was not significantly associated with perceived access to healthy foods, most grocery shopping behaviours or dietary behaviour, but was significantly associated with primarily shopping at a superstore or supercentre v. a large grocery store (OR = 1·32; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·71; P = 0·03) and higher BMI (b = 1·14; 95 % CI 0·36, 1·93; P = 0·004).
Results suggest that food desert residents shop at different food stores and have higher BMI than non-food desert residents.
To examine whether psychosocial health mediates the association between food insecurity and grade point average (GPA) among college and university students.
Data for the present study are from a longitudinal cohort study. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to test the proposed mediation hypothesis. Food insecurity was measured using the US Department of Agriculture’s Six-Item Short Form. Psychosocial health was operationalized as a latent factor with three indicators: depression, anxiety and hope. Validated scales were used to measure each indicator. GPA was self-reported.
Seven colleges and universities in Georgia, USA.
Students aged 18–25 years were recruited via email and surveyed every four months over a two-year period (analytic n 2377).
Approximately 29 % of students were food insecure. In the final SEM, food insecurity was associated (standardized β, se) with poorer psychosocial health (0·22, 0·03, P<0·0001) and poorer psychosocial health was associated with a lower GPA (−0·21, 0·03, P<0·0001). The indirect effect of food security status on GPA, as mediated by psychosocial health, was significant (−0·05, 0·01, P<0·0001) and accounted for 73 % of the total effect. After accounting for psychosocial health, the direct effect of food security status on GPA was not significant (−0·02, 0·02, P=0·43).
Psychosocial health may be an important mechanism through which food insecurity affects academic performance among college and university students. Multicomponent interventions that address immediate food security needs as well as co-occurring mental health and academic concerns are needed to ensure student success.
To investigate the potential dietary impact of the opening of new retailers of healthy foods.
Systematic review of the peer-reviewed research literature.
References published before November 2015 were retrieved from MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science databases using keyword searches.
The outcome of the review was change in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults.
Of 3514 references retrieved, ninety-two articles were reviewed in full text, and twenty-three articles representing fifteen studies were included. Studies used post-test only (n 4), repeated cross-sectional (n 4) and repeated measures designs (n 7) to evaluate the dietary impact of supermarket (n 7), farmers’ market (n 4), produce stand (n 2) or mobile market (n 2) openings. Evidence of increased fruit and vegetable consumption was most consistent among adults who began shopping at the new retailer. Three of four repeated measures studies found modest, albeit not always statistically significant, increases in fruit and vegetable consumption (range 0·23–0·54 servings/d) at 6–12 months after baseline. Dietary change among residents of the broader community where the new retailer opened was less consistent.
The methodological quality of studies, including research designs, sampling methods, follow-up intervals and outcome measures, ranged widely. Future research should align methodologically with previous work to facilitate meta-analytic synthesis of results. Opening a new retailer may result in modest short-term increases in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults who choose to shop there, but the potential longer-term dietary impact on customers and its impact on the broader community remain unclear.
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