Socioeconomic context and the food landscape in Texas: Results from hotspot analysis and border/non-border comparison of unhealthy food environments

Jennifer J. Salinas, Bassent Abdelbary, Kelly Klaas, Beatriz Tapia, Ken Sexton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the food landscape of Texas using the CDC's Modified Retail Food Environment (mRFEI) and to make comparisons by border/non-border. Methods: The Modified Retail Food Environment index (mRFEI (2008)) is an index developed by the CDC that measures what percent of the total food vendors in a census track sell healthy food. The range of values is 0 (unhealthy areas with limited access to fruits and vegetables) to (100-Healthy). These data were linked to 2010 US Census socioeconomic and ethnic concentration data. Spatial analysis and GIS techniques were applied to assess the differences between border and non-border regions. Variables of interest were mRFEI score, median income, total population, percent total population less than five years, median age, % receiving food stamps, % Hispanic, and % with a bachelor degree. Results: Findings from this study reveal that food environment in Texas tends to be characteristic of a "food desert". Analysis also demonstrates differences by border/non-border location and percent of the population that is foreign born and by percent of families who receive food stamps. Conclusions: Identifying the relationship between socioeconomic disparity, ethnic concentration and mRFEI score could be a fundamental step in improving health in disadvantage communities, particularly those on the Texas-Mexico border.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5640-5650
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 26 2014

Keywords

  • Border
  • Ethnic concentration
  • Food environment
  • Socioeconomics
  • Texas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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