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This study examined relationships between dimensions of social capital (SC) (social trust, network diversity, social reciprocity and civic engagement) and fruit, vegetable, and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption among rural adults. Potential moderators (neighbourhood rurality, food security, gender and race/ethnicity) were explored to develop a more nuanced understanding of the SC–healthy eating relationship.
Data were from a 2019 mailed population-based survey evaluating an eleven-county initiative to address health equity. Participants self-reported health behaviours, access to health-promoting resources and demographics. Logistic regression models were used to analyse relationships between predictors, outcomes and moderators.
Five rural counties, Georgia, USA.
Among participants who lived in the country (as opposed to in town), greater network diversity was associated with consuming ≥ 3 servings of fruit (OR = 1·08; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·17, P = 0·029), yet among participants who lived in town, greater civic engagement was associated with consuming ≥ three servings of fruit (OR = 1·36; 95 % CI 1·11, 1·65, P = 0·003). Both food-secure and food-insecure participants with greater social reciprocity had lower odds of consuming 0 SSB (OR = 0·92; 95 % CI 0·86, 0·98, P = 0·014, OR = 0·92; 95 % CI 0·86, 0·99, P = 0·037, respectively). Men with greater social trust were more likely to consume 0 SSB (OR = 1·09; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·18, P = 0·038), and Whites with greater network diversity were more likely to meet daily vegetable recommendations (OR = 1·10; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·19, P = 0·028).
Findings provide a basis for future qualitative research on potential mechanisms through which SC and related social factors influence healthy eating in rural communities.
To understand who engages in home gardening and whether gardening is associated with fruit and vegetable intake and weight status.
A national cross-sectional survey.
Online survey panel in the USA.
Adults aged 18–75 years representing the US population with respect to gender, age, race/ethnicity, income and geographic region (n 3889).
Approximately 30 % of survey respondents reported growing edible plants in a home garden. Gardeners were more likely to be White or Asian, employed, have higher income, be married, have children in the household and live in rural areas. Gardeners were less likely to be obese and more likely to meet US dietary recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption. In multivariable analyses, home gardens remained associated with fruit and vegetable intake and BMI when controlling for a range of socio-demographic characteristics and level of rurality.
The current study identifies who is gardening in the USA and provides useful information for public health efforts to increase gardening as a nutrition intervention. Future research should examine the benefits of home gardening and interventions to increase home gardening using more rigorous designs.
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.
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