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The present study explores the spatial distribution and in-store availability of fresh fruits and vegetables from a socio-environmental perspective in terms of the type of food store, level of deprivation and the setting (urban/rural) where the food outlets are located.
Seven types of fresh fruit and vegetable stores (FVS) were identified then visited in six districts (urban setting) and seven communities (rural setting). The quantity and diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables (F&V) were also assessed.
Québec City, Canada.
The FVS spatial distribution showed differences between the two settings, with accessibility to supermarkets being more limited in rural settings. The quantity and diversity of fresh F&V in-store availability were associated with the type of FVS, but not with setting or its level of deprivation. Greengrocers and supermarkets offered a greater quantity and diversity of fresh F&V than the other FVS.
The results suggest that inequalities in physical access to fresh F&V across the region could have an impact on public health planning considering that supermarkets, which are one of the excellent sources of F&V, are less prevalent in rural settings.
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