Does the Food Environment Predict Obesity in New York City?

Andrew Rundle, Columbia University
Ana Diez Roux, University of Michigan
Samuel Field, Columbia University
Lance Freeman, Columbia University
Shang-min Liu, Columbia University
Kathryn Neckerman, Columbia University
Marnie Purciel, Columbia University
James W. Quinn, Columbia University
Christopher C. Weiss, Columbia University

Researchers in demography, public health, and other social sciences have identified the quality of the local food environment as one factor in the rising rates of obesity in the United States. A number of studies have documented racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in access to supermarkets and other types of food outlets, yet few empirical studies have provided direct evidence on the relationship of the food environment to body weight or obesity. In this study, we examine the effects of the food environment on body mass index (BMI) using data from a large health study conducted in the New York City; our analysis is conducted on a racially- and ethnically-diverse sample of more than 13,000 adult residents, and employs unusually detailed measures of the food environment using data on business locations from Dun & Bradstreet.

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Presented in Session 158: Spatial Determinants of Health