||5R01CA149105-08 Interpret this number
||Urban Revitalization and Long-Term Effects on Diet, Economic, and Health Outcomes
Improving access to healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been an important policy
strategy, intended to improve diet and reduce obesity among vulnerable populations. In our parent grant (Does
a New Supermarket Improve Dietary Behaviors of Low-income African Americans? R01CA149105), our team
capitalized on a natural experiment in which a Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)-supported full-service
supermarket (FSS) was opened in an underserved area. In 2011, we enrolled a cohort (N=1,372) of randomly
selected households from an intervention neighborhood (that received the new FSS) and a similar comparison
neighborhood and followed the cohort from prior to the FSS’s opening through one year post-opening. We
found that intervention neighborhood residents had some dietary improvements – lower added sugars,
calories, and saturated fats, alcohols and added sugars (SoFAAS). However, use of the new FSS, the
hypothesized mediator, was not associated with dietary changes. The proposed renewal grant seeks to
examine whether the socioeconomic impact that the new FSS or anticipation of it and other developments
among investors, had on the neighborhood might be responsible for the dietary improvements we observed. It
also taps into a new opportunity to examine the effect of much larger ongoing and impending revitalization of
the intervention neighborhood on neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and diet. Addressing these research
questions will help us to better understand and to replicate the dietary improvements of placing an FSS in a
food desert. Results will speak to the substantial literature linking neighborhood socioeconomic conditions,
diet, and weight, largely limited to cross-sectional studies. We will also examine the extent to which the dietary
improvements we observed in our parent study are maintained, and the pathways by which neighborhood
socioeconomic conditions may impact diet. To achieve this, we will obtain and merge secondary retrospective
and prospective data concerning neighborhood socioeconomic conditions (NSEC) of the intervention and
control neighborhoods with existing survey data and neighborhood audits, and collect two additional waves of
survey and audit data capturing the impending major neighborhood revitalization projects that are underway or
in development. Data will be analyzed using difference in difference and structural modeling approaches to test
the impact of these natural experiments and the hypothesized causal pathway from neighborhood change to
dietary improvement. Thus, the proposed renewal will capitalize on our existing data, cohort, and research
infrastructure to address critically important follow-on questions and will be the first study, to our knowledge, to
test whether SES improvements at the neighborhood and individual level are associated with improved diet
and weight status.
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