Document Detail

Measuring potential access to food stores and food-service places in rural areas in the U.S.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19285206     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Geographic access to healthy food resources remains a major focus of research that examines the contribution of the built environment to healthful eating. Methods used to define and measure spatial accessibility can significantly affect the results. Considering the implications for marketing, policy, and programs, adequate measurement of the food environment is important. Little of the published work on food access has focused on rural areas, where the burden of nutrition-related disease is greater. This article seeks to expand our understanding of the challenges to measurement of potential spatial access to food resources in rural areas in the U.S. Key challenges to the accurate measurement of the food environment in rural areas include: (1) defining the rural food environment while recognizing that market factors may be changing; (2) describing characteristics that may differentiate similar types of food stores and food-service places; and (3) determining location coordinates for food stores and food-service places. In order to enhance measurements in rural areas, "ground-truthed" methodology, which includes on-site observation and collection of GPS data, should become the standard for rural areas. Measurement must also recognize the emergence of new and changing store formats. Efforts should be made to determine accessibility, in terms of both proximity to a single location and variety of multiple locations within a specified buffer, from origins other than the home, and consider multipurpose trips and trip chaining. The measurement of food access will be critical for community-based approaches to meet dietary needs. Researchers must be willing to take the steps necessary for rigorous measurement of a dynamic food environment.
Joseph R Sharkey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of preventive medicine     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1873-2607     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Prev Med     Publication Date:  2009 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-03-16     Completed Date:  2009-05-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8704773     Medline TA:  Am J Prev Med     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S151-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, Texas 77843-1266, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Data Collection
Environmental Monitoring / methods*
Food / classification*
Food Services / organization & administration*
Food Supply / classification*
Marketing / methods*
Nutrition Assessment
Rural Population / classification*
United States
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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