Food Access and Perceptions of the Community and Household Food Environment as Correlates of Fruit and Vegetable Intake among Rural Seniors
Published Date:Jun 02 2010
Source:BMC Geriatr. 2010; 10:32.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC2892496
Funding:1U48DP001924-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
5P20MD002295/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
Although the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption to health has been well established, few studies have focused on access to fruits and vegetables in rural areas; even fewer examined the relationship between food access and fruit and vegetable consumption among seniors.
To examine the spatial challenges to good nutrition faced by seniors who reside in rural areas and how spatial access influences fruit and vegetable intake.
Few of the BVHA seniors consumed the recommended intakes of fruits or vegetables; women consumed more servings of fruit (1.49 ± 0.05 vs. 1.29 ± 0.07, p = 0.02), similar servings of vegetables (2.18 ± 0.04 vs. 2.09 ± 0.07, p = 0.28), and more combined fruit and vegetables (3.67 ± 0.08 vs. 3.38 ± 0.12, p = 0.04) than men. The median distances to fresh fruit and vegetables were 5.5 miles and 6.4 miles, respectively. When canned and frozen fruit and vegetables were included in the measurement of overall fruit or vegetables, the median distance for a good selection of fruit or vegetables decreased to 3.4 miles for overall fruit and 3.2 miles for overall vegetables. Almost 14% reported that food supplies did not last and there was not enough money to buy more. Our analyses revealed that objective and perceived measures of food store access - increased distance to the nearest supermarket, food store with a good variety of fresh and processed fruit, or food store with a good variety of fresh and processed vegetables - were associated with decreased daily consumption of fruit, vegetables, and combined fruit and vegetables, after controlling for the influence of individual characteristics and perceptions of community and home food resources.
Findings suggest that interventions designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among rural seniors should consider strategies to ameliorate differential access to healthy food due to food store distance.
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