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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 5640-5650; doi:10.3390/ijerph110605640

Socioeconomic Context and the Food Landscape in Texas: Results from Hotspot Analysis and Border/Non-Border Comparison of Unhealthy Food Environments

1
University of Texas School of Public Health, Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences (EHGES), Brownsville Regional Campus, UTB Campus- RAHC Building, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA
2
Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, 3445 Executive Center Drive Suite 150, Austin, TX 78731, USA
3
School of Medicine, Family and Community Health, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Regional Academic Health Center, 2102 Treasure Hills Blvd., Harlingen, TX 78550, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: food environment; Texas; border; socioeconomics; ethnic concentration food environment; Texas; border; socioeconomics; ethnic concentration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salinas, J.J.; Abdelbary, B.; Klaas, K.; Tapia, B.; Sexton, K. Socioeconomic Context and the Food Landscape in Texas: Results from Hotspot Analysis and Border/Non-Border Comparison of Unhealthy Food Environments. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5640-5650.

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