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Running Head: FAST-FOOD OUTLET ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS
Exploring Obesogenic Food Environments in Edmonton, Canada:
The Association Between Socioeconomic Factors and Fast-Food Outlet Access
Eric Hemphill, MSc1
Kim Raine, PhD RD2
John C. Spence, PhD3
Karen E. Smoyer-Tomic, PhD4
1Centre for Health Promotion Studies, 5-10 University Extension Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2T4. firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel (780) 492-4039; Fax (780) 492-9579.
2 Centre for Health Promotion Studies, 5-10 University Extension Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2T4. email@example.com; Tel (780) 492-9415; Fax (780) 492-9579.
3 Sedentary Living Lab, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, E-488 Van Vliet, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H9. firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel (780) 492-1379; Fax (780) 492-2364.
4Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 1-26 Earth Science Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E3. email@example.com; Tel (780) 492-3287; Fax (780) 492-2030.
Purpose. To explore the relationship between the placement of fast-food outlets and neighborhood-level socioeconomic variables by determining if indicators of lower socioeconomic status (SES) were predictive of exposure to fast-food.
Design. A descriptive analysis of the fast-food environment in a Canadian urban centre, using secondary analysis of census data and GIS (Geographic Information System) technology.
Setting. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Measures. Neighborhoods were classified as high, medium or low access based on the number of fast-food opportunities available to them. Neighborhood-level socioeconomic data (income, education, employment, immigration status and housing tenure) from the 2001 Statistics Canada federal census were obtained.
Analyses. A discriminant function analysis was used to determine if any association existed between neighborhood demographic characteristics and accessibility of fast-food outlets.
Results. Significant differences were found between the three levels of fast-food accessibility across the socioeconomic variables, with successively greater percentages of unemployed, low income, and renters in neighborhoods with increasingly greater access to fast-food restaurants. A high score on several of these variables was predictive of greater access to fast-food restaurants.
Conclusion. Although a causal inference is not possible, these results suggest that the distribution of fast-food outlets relative to neighborhood-level SES requires further attention in the process of explaining the increased rates of obesity observed in relatively deprived populations.
Key Words: environment and public health; food supply; geographic information systems; socioeconomic factors
Indexing Key Words: Format: research; Purpose: modeling/relationship testing; Design: non-experimental; Outcome measure: other; Setting: local community; Health focus: nutrition, social health; Strategy: built environment; Target population: youth, adults; Target population circumstances: geographic location, education/income level, race/ethnicity
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