Does transportation mode modify associations between distance to food store, fruit and vegetable consumption, and BMI in low-income neighborhoods?

Daniel Fuller, Steven Cummins, Stephen A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A consistent body of research has shown that the neighborhood food environment is associated with fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and obesity in deprived neighborhoods in the United States. However, these studies have often neglected to consider how transportation can moderate associations between food accessibility and diet-related outcomes. Objective: This study examined associations between distance to primary food store, fruit and vegetable consumption, and BMI and whether mode of transportation to the primary food store moderates this relation. Design: Cross-sectional data from the baseline wave of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Food Environment Study were used. A telephone survey of adult (≥18 y of age) household primary food shoppers residing in 2 Philadelphia neighborhoods was conducted (n = 1440). Results: In a bivariate linear regression analysis, distance to primary food store did not predict F&V consumption (β = 0.04; 95% CI: -0.00, 0.09). Linear regression analysis stratified by transportation mode to the main F&V store showed no difference in F&V consumption between car, public, and multimodal transportation users. Compared with respondents using multimodal transportation, those using public transit had a significantly lower BMI (β = -1.31; 95% CI: -2.50, -0.10), whereas those using an automobile did not (β = -0.41; 95% CI: -1.36, 0.54). Conclusions: The assumption that using an automobile to access food stores results in increased F&V consumption was not confirmed. Significant associations were found for the relation between transportation mode and BMI. Theory-based mechanisms explaining relationships between the primary transportation mode used to access food stores and BMI should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume97
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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