Relationships between Vacant Homes and Food Swamps: A Longitudinal Study of an Urban Food Environment
AbstractResearch indicates that living in neighborhoods with high concentrations of boarded-up vacant homes is associated with premature mortality due to cancer and diabetes, but the mechanism for this relationship is unclear. Boarded-up housing may indirectly impact residents’ health by affecting their food environment. We evaluated the association between changes in vacancy rates and changes in the density of unhealthy food outlets as a proportion of all food outlets, termed the food swamp index, in Baltimore, MD (USA) from 2001 to 2012, using neighborhood fixed-effects linear regression models. Over the study period, the average food swamp index increased from 93.5 to 95.3 percentage points across all neighborhoods. Among non-African American neighborhoods, increases in the vacancy rate were associated with statistically significant decreases in the food swamp index (b = −0.38; 90% CI, −0.64 to −0.12; p-value: 0.015), after accounting for changes in neighborhood SES, racial diversity, and population size. A positive association was found among low-SES neighborhoods (b = 0.15; 90% CI, 0.037 to 0.27; p-value: 0.031). Vacant homes may influence the composition of food outlets in urban neighborhoods. Future research should further elucidate the mechanisms by which more distal, contextual factors, such as boarded-up vacant homes, may affect food choices and diet-related health outcomes. View Full-Text
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Mui, Y.; Jones-Smith, J.C.; Thornton, R.L.J.; Pollack Porter, K.; Gittelsohn, J. Relationships between Vacant Homes and Food Swamps: A Longitudinal Study of an Urban Food Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1426.
Mui Y, Jones-Smith JC, Thornton RLJ, Pollack Porter K, Gittelsohn J. Relationships between Vacant Homes and Food Swamps: A Longitudinal Study of an Urban Food Environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(11):1426.Chicago/Turabian Style
Mui, Yeeli; Jones-Smith, Jessica C.; Thornton, Rachel L.J.; Pollack Porter, Keshia; Gittelsohn, Joel. 2017. "Relationships between Vacant Homes and Food Swamps: A Longitudinal Study of an Urban Food Environment." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 14, no. 11: 1426.
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