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Statistical approaches used to assess the equity of access to food outlets: a systematic review

Lamb, Karen, Thornton, Lukar, Cerin, Ester and Ball, Kylie 2015, Statistical approaches used to assess the equity of access to food outlets: a systematic review, AIMS public health, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 358-401, doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2015.3.358.

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Title Statistical approaches used to assess the equity of access to food outlets: a systematic review
Author(s) Lamb, KarenORCID iD for Lamb, Karen orcid.org/0000-0001-9782-8450
Thornton, LukarORCID iD for Thornton, Lukar orcid.org/0000-0001-8759-8671
Cerin, Ester
Ball, KylieORCID iD for Ball, Kylie orcid.org/0000-0003-2893-8415
Journal name AIMS public health
Volume number 2
Issue number 3
Start page 358
End page 401
Total pages 44
Publisher AIMS Press
Place of publication Springfield, Mo.
Publication date 2015-07-28
Keyword(s) food environment
neighbourhood
socio-economic status
statistical methods
spatial autocorrelation
spatial statistics
Summary Abstract: Background Inequalities in eating behaviours are often linked to the types of food retailers accessible in neighbourhood environments. Numerous studies have aimed to identify if access to healthy and unhealthy food retailers is socioeconomically patterned across neighbourhoods, and thus a potential risk factor for dietary inequalities. Existing reviews have examined differences between methodologies, particularly focussing on neighbourhood and food outlet access measure definitions. However, no review has informatively discussed the suitability of the statistical methodologies employed; a key issue determining the validity of study findings. Our aim was to examine the suitability of statistical approaches adopted in these analyses.
Methods: Searches were conducted for articles published from 2000–2014. Eligible studies included objective measures of the neighbourhood food environment and neighbourhood-level socio-economic status, with a statistical analysis of the association between food outlet access and socio-economic status.
Results Fifty four papers were included. Outlet accessibility was typically defined as the distance to the nearest outlet from the neighbourhood centroid, or as the numberof food outlets within a neighbourhood (or buffer). To assess if these measures were linked to neighbourhood disadvantage, common statistical methods included ANOVA, correlation, and Poisson or negative binomial regression. Although all studies involved spatial data, few considered spatial analysis techniques or spatial autocorrelation.
Conclusions: With advances in GIS software, sophisticated measures of neighbourhood outlet accessibility can be considered. However, approaches to statistical analysis often appear less sophisticated. Care should be taken to consider assumptions underlying the analysis and the possibility of spatially correlated residuals which could affect the results.
Language eng
DOI 10.3934/publichealth.2015.3.358
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, AIMS Press
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30074991

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.