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To describe availability and frequency of use of local snack-food outlets and determine whether reported use of these outlets was associated with dietary intakes.
Data were cross-sectional. Availability and frequency of use of three types of local snack-food outlets were reported. Daily dietary intakes were based on the average of up to four 24 h dietary recalls. Multivariable linear regression models estimated average daily intakes of energy, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and snack foods/sweets associated with use of outlets.
Multi-site, observational cohort study in the USA, 2004–2006.
Girls aged 6–8 years (n 1010).
Weekly frequency of use of local snack-food outlets increased with number of available types of outlets. Girls with access to only one type of outlet reported consuming food/beverage items less frequently than girls with access to two or three types of outlets (P <0·001). Girls’ daily energy, SSB and snack foods/sweets intakes increased with greater use of outlets. Girls who reported using outlets>1 to 3 times/week consumed 0·27 (95 % CI 0·13, 0·40) servings of SSB more daily than girls who reported no use. Girls who reported using outlets>3 times/week consumed 449·61 (95 % CI 134·93, 764·29) kJ, 0·43 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·58) servings of SSB and 0·38 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·65) servings of snack foods/sweets more daily than those who reported no use.
Girls’ frequency of use of local snack-food outlets increases with the number of available types of outlets and is associated with greater daily intakes of energy and servings of SSB and snack foods/sweets.
A growing body of research has shown that disparities in resources, including food stores, exist at the neighbourhood level and the greatest disparities are seen in minority neighbourhoods, the same neighbourhoods at increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Less is known about whether differences in availability of resources by African American or Latino race/ethnicity exist within a single minority community.
The present study examined whether census blocks either 75% African American (AA) or 75% Latino (L) are associated with food store availability, as compared with racially mixed (RM) census blocks, in East Harlem, New York.
A cross-sectional study utilising a walking survey of East Harlem was performed. Food stores were classified into: supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, specialty stores, full-service restaurants and fast-food stores.
One hundred and sixty-five East Harlem census blocks were examined; 17 were AA, 34 were L and 114 were RM. Of AA census blocks, 100% had neither supermarkets nor grocery stores. AA census blocks were less likely to have convenience stores (prevalence ratio (PR) = 0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07–0.86) compared with RM census blocks. In contrast, predominantly L census blocks were more likely to have convenience stores (PR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.20–2.70), specialty food stores (PR = 3.74, 95% CI 2.06–7.15), full-service restaurants (PR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.04–3.38) and fast-food restaurants (PR = 2.14, 95% CI 1.33–3.44) compared with RM census blocks.
We found that inequities in food store availability exist by race/ethnicity in East Harlem, New York. This has implications for racial/ethnic differences in dietary quality, obesity and obesity-related disorders.
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