Associations between neighborhood availability and individual consumption of dark-green and orange vegetables among ethnically diverse adults in Detroit.
Diets rich in dark-green and orange vegetables have been associated with a reduction in chronic diseases. However, most Americans do not consume the number of daily servings recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. An increasing number of studies suggest that changes to the neighborhood food environment may be critical to achieving population-wide improvements in eating. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between observed neighborhood availability and individual consumption of dark-green and orange vegetables among low- to moderate-income and ethnically diverse adults in Detroit. This study used a cross-sectional design that drew upon a 2002-2003 community survey and 2002 in-person audit of food stores. A total of 919 adults (mean age 46.3 years, 52.2% female) including African Americans (56.7 %), Latinos (22.2%), and whites (18.7%) residing in three Detroit communities participated in the survey. Two-level weighted, hierarchical linear regression was used to analyze the data. On average, survey respondents ate 0.61 daily servings of dark-green and orange vegetables. Residents of neighborhoods with no stores carrying five or more varieties of dark-green and orange vegetables were associated with an average of 0.17 fewer daily servings of these foods compared with residents of neighborhoods with two stores carrying five or more varieties of dark-green and orange vegetables (P=0.047). These findings suggest that living in a neighborhood with multiple opportunities to purchase dark-green and orange vegetables may make an important contribution toward meeting recommended intakes.