Food Desert Reading.docx

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York University
Kinesiology & Health Science
KINE 1000
Hernan Humana

Food Desert Reading  Food insecurity – inadequate or insecure access to food in the context of financial constraints – is a serious health problem  Little neighbourhood characteristics in relation to the problem o Local area food environment o Neighbourhood social capital  Food desert – poor access to healthy food  Low-income neighbourhoods usually have many fast food stores o Low income areas in inner-city neighbours have the poorest access to supermarkets by walking – but do have public transportation  This study did not look at neighbourhood features or household level-food purchasing  Australian study show associations between perceptions of local food availability, accessibility and affording and frequency of fruit and fast food consumption among women  Many programmes to help offset problems of household food security – community kitchens, community gardens, food banks – tend to be in low-income neighbourhoods – but proximity to these programmes to household food security status is not known  Neighbourhood social capital – perceptions of social cohesion and trust in one’s community – could predict food security status o Low social capital may be an outcome of maco level conditions that also lead to poor health  This study o Low income families Toronto o Objectives - examine association between house hold food security – geographic access to food retail and food programmes and – perceived neighbourhood social capital Methods  2 years  Only families with children  12 neighbourhoods – more than 40% low income  Included families living in market and subsidized rental units  Respondents eligible if o At least one child 18 or lower o Live in rental accommodations/dwelling for one month o Fluent in English o Gross household income was at or below threshold  Interview was made – to elicit information on household sociodemographic characteristics, food security status, food shopping habits use of community food programmes and neighbourhood social capital  484 families  GIS – used to find supermarkets – 80% of families shopped as discount supermarkets o Mapped food banks, community gardens etc. Measures  Household food security survey module used to assess food security over 12 months prior to study  Thresholds – categorized families as food secure or insecure o Severely insecure also became a category  ArcGIS – measured distance o 1-2km  Surveys were conducted to see where families shopped within their neighbourhood and transportation costs  Assess neighbourhood capital used a scale 1 -7  3 or low was low capital Results  Two thirds of families were food insecure about a quarter were severely food insecure in 12 months prior t study  Only 1% variation in food security and less than 1% of the variation in severely food insecurity  Lower odds of household food insecurity were observed with increasing income and among families which the household head and or his/her partner were immigrant to Canada, while families whose main source of income was welfare had higher odds of food insecurity  Lower odds of severe food insecurity observed with increasing income, whereas higher odds of severe insecurity were apparent among house hold reli
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