Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
Poster Board Number: 120
Objectives: Food access is a growing concern among Americans and is directly related to several health outcomes. Without ready access to supermarkets and other sources of nutrient rich foods, people may rely on foods that are low in cost and high in calories, which are associated with poor dietary quality and an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Food access is a measure of the ability to acquire nutritionally adequate food in a socially acceptable manner, and as such the important determinants of the food access of a person/household include income, distance from a supermarket, and vehicle access. The objective of this study was to evaluate food access in Clinton County, NY, a rural region in the northeast of the state.
Methods: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Access Research Atlas was used to classify towns within Clinton County as low income (> 20 % poverty rate or median family income < 80% median income of New York State), low food access (significant portion of residents > 1/2 mile (urban) or 10 miles (rural) from the nearest supermarket), and/or low vehicle access (>100 households without a vehicle and > ½ mile from supermarket). Demographic data were obtained for 19 census-designated places from the 2010 US Census and the 2012-2016 American Community Survey. Google Maps was used to estimate the distance and time of travel between each town and the nearest supermarket.
Results: In Clinton County, 23,884 people (29.1%) reside in an area with low food access, 31,498 (38.4%) reside in an area classified as low vehicle access, and over one-fifth of individuals (20.4%) reside in an area designated as having both low income and low access to a vehicle. The proportion of the total population estimated to be living at or below the federal poverty level was 16.1 %, with 25.4% of the population at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The average distance from towns to the nearest supermarket was 8.3 miles, and the closest local nutrition service lunch center was 7.3 miles.
Conclusions: A substantial proportion of residents in Clinton County may have difficulty accessing a supermarket and experience low food access. Further investigation is needed to fully assess the consequences of and solutions to low food access in this region.
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh, New York