Smith DM, Cummins S, Taylor M, Dawson J, Marshall D, Sparks L & Anderson AS (2010) Neighbourhood Food Environment and Area Deprivation: spatial accessibility to grocery stores selling fresh fruit and vegetables in urban and rural settings. International Journal of Epidemiology, 39 (1), pp. 277-284. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyp221
Background The ‘deprivation amplification’ hypothesis suggests that residents of deprived neighbourhoods have universally poorer access to high quality food environments which in turn contribute to the development of spatial inequalities in diet and diet-related chronic disease. This paper presents results from a study which quantified access to grocery stores selling fresh fruit and vegetables in four environmental settings in Scotland. Methods Spatial accessibility, as measured by network travel times, to 457 grocery stores located in 205 neighbourhoods in four environmental settings (island, rural, small town and urban) in Scotland was calculated using Geographical Information Systems. The distribution of accessibility by neighbourhood deprivation in each of these four settings was investigated. Results Overall, the most deprived neighbourhoods had the best access to grocery stores and grocery stores selling fresh produce. Stratified analysis by environmental setting suggests that the least deprived compared to the most deprived urban neighbourhoods have greater accessibility to grocery stores than their counterparts in island, rural and small town locations. Access to fresh produce is better in more deprived compared to less deprived urban and small town neighbourhoods, but poorest in the most affluent island communities with mixed results for rural settings. Conclusions The results presented here suggest that the assumption of a universal ‘deprivation amplification’ hypothesis in studies of the neighbourhood food environment may be mis-guided. Associations between neighbourhood deprivation and grocery store accessibility vary by environmental setting. Theories and policies aimed at understanding and rectifying spatial inequalities in the distribution of neighbourhood exposures for poor diet need to be context specific.
neighbourhood; diet; deprivation; access; travel times; environment; inequality; urban; rural; Housing and health; Food industry and trade; Consumption (Economics); Poverty; Discrimination
International Journal of Epidemiology: Volume 39, Issue 1
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