Access to a healthy diet and fast foods in the City of Casey
Burns, C. and Inglis, A. 2005, Access to a healthy diet and fast foods in the City of Casey, in ASSO 2005 : Australian Society for the Study of Obesity 14th Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts Book : Obesity : Facts and Fiction, Working to Improve the Understanding and Management of Overweight and Obesity in the Australian Region, ASSO, [Adelaide, S.Aust.], pp. 56-56.
ASSO 2005 : Australian Society for the Study of Obesity 14th Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts Book : Obesity : Facts and Fiction, Working to Improve the Understanding and Management of Overweight and Obesity in the Australian Region
Place of publication
It is known that the consumption of fast food is associated with obesity (Binkley 2000). Relative ease of access to fast foods compared with healthy foods may contribute to the increasing prevalence of obesity. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the access by car to fast foods and a healthy diet. The study was located in the City of Casey, a municipality in South East Melbourne with a population of 220,000. We have previously shown that ease of access to a large chain supermarket ensures access to a basket of healthy foods adequate to meet the nutritional needs of a family of 6 (Burns 2004). The City of Casey council provided location details for major fast food outlets and supermarkets. Fast food was defined as food sourced from an outlet without table service. We included only those major fast food chain outlets which had more than 10 franchises within Australia. We included the 3 major supermarket chains that account for 87% total food retailing in Victoria. Geographic details from the City of Casey were used to map the location of these outlets. Then using these locations and road network a basic cost distance model was created for either the supermarket chains or fast food chains outlets. The cost unit is (time), it was to calculate by giving the roads in the network an average travel speed depending in the type of road (minor, major or highway) and then calculating how long it would take to reach the closest outlet. Access to supermarket and fast food outlets were determined relative to population density. Our results indicate that in the City of Casey most (> 80%) people live within an 8-10 minute car journey of a major supermarket and a fast food outlet. Fifty percent of the fast food outlets are co-located with a supermarket. We conclude that access to both healthy food and fast food in the City of Casey is good if you own a car. The increasing demand for fast food is easily met in this municipality. Obesity prevention strategies in Casey should concentrate on the food choices available at fast food outlets and town planning to ensure a mix of food outlets to maximize the likelihood of healthy food choices.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified