Location: Delta Obesity Prevention ResearchTitle: Measuring aspects of fruit and vegetable availability in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) Author
Submitted to: Race, Gender and Class
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/23/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Johnson, G.S., McGee, B.B., Richardson, V., Johnson, C. 2009. Measuring aspects of fruit and vegetable availability in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). Race, Gender and Class. 16(3-4):109-119. Interpretive Summary: Evaluating the local fruit and vegetable environment is critical to understanding the influences of fruit and vegetable behavior patterns among rural, underserved residents who are at risk for some chronic illnesses. A grocery store survey was conducted as a component of a larger effort to identify and measure community indicators for nutrition within communities in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). The results suggest that the limited variety of fruit and vegetable purchasing options may be a possible barrier to adequate consumption of these food groups by residents in this region. Policies and strategies related to increasing the range of styles and package types of fruits and vegetables in rural, low-income retail environments are warranted.
Technical Abstract: Chronic health conditions may be linked to disparities in fruit and vegetables consumption among rural, low-income groups. Grocery stores in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) were surveyed for availability of selected fruit and vegetables, with an additional focus on the dimensions, style of food and packaging options. In small/medium stores, only 42.4% of the fruit and vegetable items comprising the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) were available compared to 97.5% found in supermarkets. Supermarkets carried a larger percentage of a variety of styles and packages, however the number of supermarkets located in this rural underserved area is very sparse. The results suggest that limited availability of fruit and vegetable purchasing options may be a possible barrier to adequate consumption of these food groups in the LMD.