|Title||Examining the behavioral interactions between urban residents and their food environment: A case study of greater Lansing, Michigan|
Access to nutritious food is essential to human survival and the consumption of fresh produce is an important part of a healthy diet. Previous research has found that residents of urban neighborhoods who lack access to fresh produce have greater difficulty maintaining a healthy diet. This thesis considers the interaction between residents of Greater Lansing, Michigan and their food environment. An in-person survey of 185 Greater Lansing residents was conducted during the summer of 2010 at twelve retail stores that sold fresh produce items. Participants were asked questions about their access to transportation, shopping habits, diet, and primary location of residence. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between the collected data and calculated models of spatial accessibility. Findings suggest that (1) the perception of Greater Lansing residents is that food shopping is not done in close proximity to the primary residenceï¼› (2) there is not a straightforward association between calculated access to and the consumption of fresh produceï¼› (3) supermarkets are the dominant food source for residentsï¼› and (4) individuals who receive nutritional assistance are significantly more likely to shop at neighborhood stores and consume a less healthy diet. Understanding how Greater Lansing residents interact with their food environment is essential in finding solutions to the growing obesity and overweight epidemic.
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