Associations between the purchase of healthy and fast foods and restrictions to food access: a cross-sectional study in Melbourne, Australia

Burns, Cate, Bentley, Rebecca, Thornton, Lukar and Kavanagh, Anne 2015, Associations between the purchase of healthy and fast foods and restrictions to food access: a cross-sectional study in Melbourne, Australia, Public health nutrition, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 143-150, doi: 10.1017/S1368980013002796.

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Title Associations between the purchase of healthy and fast foods and restrictions to food access: a cross-sectional study in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Burns, Cate
Bentley, Rebecca
Thornton, LukarORCID iD for Thornton, Lukar
Kavanagh, Anne
Journal name Public health nutrition
Volume number 18
Issue number 1
Start page 143
End page 150
Total pages 8
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2015-01
ISSN 1368-9800
Keyword(s) Fast-food purchase
Food access
Food security indicators
Fruit and vegetable purchase
Grocery shopping
Cross-Sectional Studies
Family Characteristics
Fast Foods
Food Supply
Logistic Models
Nutrition Policy
Nutrition Surveys
Patient Compliance
Regression Analysis
Residence Characteristics
Urban Health
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Nutrition & Dietetics
Summary OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between financial, physical and transport conditions that may restrict food access (which we define as food security indicators) and the purchase of fast foods and nutritious staples such as bread and milk.
DESIGN: Multilevel logistic and multinomial regression analysis of cross-sectional survey data to assess associations between the three indicators of food insecurity and household food shopping adjusted for sociodemographic and socio-economic variables.
SETTING: Random selection of households (n 3995) from fifty Census Collector Districts in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003.
SUBJECTS: The main food shoppers in each household (n 2564).
RESULTS: After adjustment for confounders, analysis showed that a greater likelihood of purchasing chain-brand fast food on a weekly basis compared with never was associated with running out of money to buy food (OR = 1·59; 95 % CI 1·08, 2·34) and reporting difficulties lifting groceries (OR = 1·77; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·54). Respondents without regular access to a car to do food shopping were less likely to purchase bread types considered more nutritious than white bread (OR = 0·75; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·95) and milk types considered more nutritious than full-cream milk (OR = 0·62; 95 % CI 0·47, 0·81). The food insecurity indicators were not associated with the purchasing of fruits, vegetables or non-chain fast food.
CONCLUSIONS: Householders experiencing financial and physical barriers were more likely to frequently purchase chain fast foods while limited access to a car resulted in a lower likelihood that the nutritious options were purchased for two core food items (bread and milk). Policies and interventions that improve financial access to food and lessen the effect of physical limitations to carrying groceries may reduce the purchasing of fast foods. Further research is required on food sourcing and dietary quality among those with food access restrictions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S1368980013002796
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, The Authors
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