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Mobile produce market influences access to fruits and vegetables in an urban environment

  • Bi-sek Hsiao (a1), Lindiwe Sibeko (a1), Kathy Wicks (a2) and Lisa M Troy (a1)
Abstract
Objective

To assess the influence of a mobile produce market (MPM) on fruit and vegetable access.

Design

Novel application of a structured assessment (five dimensions of access framework) to examine fruit and vegetable access through self-administered surveys on shopping behaviours, and perceptions and experiences of shopping at the MPM.

Setting

Low-income neighbourhoods with limited access to fruits and vegetables.

Subjects

Older (≥60 years) and younger (18–59·9 years) shoppers.

Results

Participants were more likely to be women and non-White, one-third lived alone and nearly half were older adults. Compared with younger, older participants had different shopping behaviours: tended to purchase food for one person (P < 0·001), be long-term shoppers (P=0·002) and use electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards (P=0·012). Older adults were more likely to like the market location (P=0·03), while younger adults were more likely to want changes in location (P=0·04), more activities (P=0·04), taste sampling (P=0·05) and nutritional counselling (P=0·01). The MPM captured all dimensions of access: availability, indicated by satisfaction with the produce variety for nearly one-third of all participants; accessibility, indicated by participants travelling <1 mile (<1·6 km; 72·2 %) and appreciation of location (72·7 %); affordability, indicated by satisfaction with price (47·6 %); acceptability, indicated by appreciation of produce quality (46·2 %); and accommodation, indicated by satisfaction with safety of location (30·1 %) and high EBT use among older adults (41·8 %).

Conclusions

MPM may influence fruit and vegetable access in low-income urban neighbourhoods by facilitating the five dimensions of access and may especially benefit older adults and individuals living alone.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email lisatroy@umass.edu
References
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