Neighborhood retail food environment and fruit and vegetable intake in a multiethnic urban population.
PURPOSE: To examine relationships between the neighborhood food environment and fruit and vegetable intake in a multiethnic urban population.
DESIGN: Analysis of cross-sectional survey and observational data.
SETTING: One hundred forty-six neighborhoods within three large geographic communities of Detroit, Michigan.
SUBJECTS: Probability sample of 919 African-American, Latino, and white adults.
MEASURES: The dependent variable was mean daily fruit and vegetable servings, as measured by using a modified Block 98 food frequency questionnaire. Independent variables included the neighborhood food environment: store availability (i.e., large grocery, specialty, convenience, liquor, small grocery), supermarket proximity (i.e., street-network distance to nearest chain grocer), and perceived and observed neighborhood fresh fruit and vegetable supply (i.e., availability, variety, quality, affordability).
ANALYSIS: Weighted, multilevel regression.
RESULTS: Presence of a large grocery store in the neighborhood was associated with, on average, 0.69 more daily fruit and vegetable servings in the full sample. Relationships between the food environment and fruit and vegetable intake did not differ between whites and African-Americans. However, Latinos, compared with African-Americans, who had a large grocery store in the neighborhood consumed 2.20 more daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Presence of a convenience store in the neighborhood was associated with 1.84 fewer daily fruit and vegetable servings among Latinos than among African-Americans.
CONCLUSION: The neighborhood food environment influences fruit and vegetable intake, and the size of this relationship may vary for different racial/ethnic subpopulations.