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Neighborhood Prices of Healthier and Unhealthier Foods and Associations with Diet Quality: Evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

07:00 EST 16th November 2017 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Neighborhood Prices of Healthier and Unhealthier Foods and Associations with Diet Quality: Evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis."

It is known that the price of food influences the purchasing and consumption decisions of individuals; however, little work has examined if the price of healthier food relative to unhealthier food in an individual's neighborhood is associated with overall dietary quality while using data from multiple regions in the United States. Cross-sectional person-level data came from The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (exam 5, 2010-2012 n = 2765); a food frequency questionnaire assessed diet. Supermarket food/beverage prices came from Information Resources Inc. (n = 794 supermarkets). For each individual, the average price of select indicators of healthier foods (vegetables, fruits, dairy) and unhealthier foods (soda, sweets, salty snacks), as well as their ratio, was computed for supermarkets within three miles of the person's residential address. Logistic regression estimated odds ratios of a high-quality diet (top quintile of Healthy Eating Index 2010) associated with healthy-to-unhealthy price ratio, adjusted for individual and neighborhood characteristics. Sensitivity analyses used an instrumental variable (IV) approach. Healthier foods cost nearly twice as much as unhealthier foods per serving on average (mean healthy-to-unhealthy ratio = 1.97 [SD 0.14]). A larger healthy-to-unhealthy price ratio was associated with lower odds of a high-quality diet (OR = 0.76 per SD increase in the ratio, 95% CI = [0.64-0.9]). IV analyses largely confirmed these findings although-as expected with IV adjustment-confidence intervals were wide (OR = 0.82 [0.57-1.19]). Policies to address the large price differences between healthier and unhealthy foods may help improve diet quality in the United States.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1660-4601
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