Association between proximity to and coverage of traditional fast-food restaurants and non-traditional fast-food outlets and fast-food consumption among rural adults
1 Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, MS 1266, College Station, TX, 77843-1266, USA
2 Program on GIS and Spatial Statistics, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, MS 1266, College Station, TX, 77843-1266, USA
International Journal of Health Geographics 2011, 10:37 doi:10.1186/1476-072X-10-37Published: 20 May 2011
The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between residential exposure to fast-food entrées, using two measures of potential spatial access: proximity (distance to the nearest location) and coverage (number of different locations), and weekly consumption of fast-food meals.
Traditional fast-food restaurants and non-traditional fast-food outlets, such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and grocery stores, from the 2006 Brazos Valley Food Environment Project were linked with individual participants (n = 1409) who completed the nutrition module in the 2006 Brazos Valley Community Health Assessment.
Increased age, poverty, increased distance to the nearest fast food, and increased number of different traditional fast-food restaurants, non-traditional fast-food outlets, or fast-food opportunities were associated with less frequent weekly consumption of fast-food meals. The interaction of gender and proximity (distance) or coverage (number) indicated that the association of proximity to or coverage of fast-food locations on fast-food consumption was greater among women and opposite of independent effects.
Results provide impetus for identifying and understanding the complex relationship between access to all fast-food opportunities, rather than to traditional fast-food restaurants alone, and fast-food consumption. The results indicate the importance of further examining the complex interaction of gender and distance in rural areas and particularly in fast-food consumption. Furthermore, this study emphasizes the need for health promotion and policy efforts to consider all sources of fast-food as part of promoting healthful food choices.