The association between accessibility of local convenience stores and unhealthy diet

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BACKGROUND: High accessibility of unhealthy food stores may contribute to a poor dietary quality. Research on the link between neighbourhood food environment and consumption is limited, especially in a European context. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between convenience stores (CS) and dietary quality within the Capital Region of Denmark.

METHOD: Cross-sectional study of the geographic food environment in the Capital Region of Denmark based on 47 623 subjects (age 16+ years) with complete information on retail food environment and dietary quality. A categorization procedure to identify CS from a government list of inspected food stores (the Smiley register) was developed. Using GIS network analyses, density of CS within 0.25 km and 0.5 km network buffers from residency was calculated for participants in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, respectively. Information on dietary intake and confounders is derived from a questionnaire survey. Multi-level analyses were performed, adjusting for age, sex, individual socio-economic factors and area socio-economic status.

RESULTS: In the non-metropolitan population, the odds of having an unhealthy diet increased significantly (P < 0.0001) with increased density of CS. Compared to individuals who did not have a CS within 0.5 km from their home, the odds ratios were 1.20 (95% CI: 1.09-1.33) and 1.37 (95% CI: 1.19-1.57) for individuals having 1 or ≥2 CS, respectively. In the fully adjusted model, the overall association remained significant (P = 0.015) and odds ratios diminished to 1.14 (1.02-1.27) and 1.18 (1.01-1.38).

CONCLUSION: High accessibility of CS in neighbourhoods is associated with less healthy dietary habits among residents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)634-9
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Commerce/statistics & numerical data, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Diet/methods, Feeding Behavior, Female, Food Supply/statistics & numerical data, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data, Young Adult

ID: 259568954