Cancer Control Research5R03CA155362-02
Jilcott, Stephanie B.
EXAMINING THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN OBESITY AND ACCESS TO FARMERS MARKETS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This study will be conducted among a diverse group of urban and rural women between the ages of 21 and 44 years residing in eastern North Carolina. Women are studied as they are primarily shopping for and preparing family members' food, and thus have a major influence on family member's dietary practices. We propose to use a unique participant recruiting opportunity through a CDC-funded study in the local health department family planning clinic, to enroll a subset of participants from the larger study into a primary qualitative data collection effort to examine neighborhood context and "food activity spaces" as viewed by women of diverse demographic groups (Aim 1). In Aim 2, we will develop and implement a standard method for mapping farmers' markets. We will then use data collected in Aims 1 and 2 to conduct a secondary data analysis using a larger sample of women (n = 1000) recruited through the CDC-funded study in the local health department (Aim 3). The successful completion of this project will move the field of public health nutrition forward in the following three ways: (1) Determine the geographic boundaries and features of neighborhood and food activity spaces among diverse women by using participants to quantify and describe their activity spaces. This will allow future researchers to more accurately estimate buffer size in Geographic Information Systems. (2) Standardize the methodology for identifying farmers' markets, which will allow others to accurately quantify and disseminate information about markets to consumers and public health practitioners. (3) Provide greater clarity regarding disparities in access to farmers' markets and regarding potential associations between access to farmers' markets and obesity. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Obesity is an overwhelming public health problem necessitating community-level solutions. Here we propose to combine data from qualitative interviews, windshield tours, and a geographic information system to: (a) define and examine neighborhood context and "food activity spaces" as viewed by diverse women; (b) develop a high-quality measure of the food environment specifically related to farmers' markets; and (c) examine potential access disparities, as well as the association between access to farmers' markets and weight status among 1000 diverse women. Results will inform future research and promising environmental and policy changes to decrease obesity.