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Improving retrospective characterization of the food environment for a large region in the United States during a historic time period

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Auchincloss, A., K.B. Moore, L. Moore, and Ana V. Diez Roux. 2012. "Improving retrospective characterization of the food environment for a large region in the United States during a historic time period." Health and Place, 18(6): 1341-1347.

Access to healthy foods has received increasing attention due to growing prevalence of obesity and diet-related health conditions yet there are major obstacles in characterizing the local food environment. This study developed a method to retrospectively characterize supermarkets for a single historic year, 2005, in 19 counties in 6 states in the USA using a supermarket chain-name list and two business databases. Data preparation, merging, overlaps, added-value amongst various approaches and differences by census tract area-level socio-demographic characteristics are described. Agreement between two food store databases was modest: 63%. Only 55% of the final list of supermarkets were identified by a single business database and selection criteria that included industry classification codes and sales revenue >=$2 million. The added-value of using a supermarket chain-name list and second business database was identification of an additional 14% and 30% of supermarkets, respectively. These methods are particularly useful to retrospectively characterize access to supermarkets during a historic period and when field observations are not feasible and business databases are used. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.06.016 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3501601. (Pub Med Central)

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