Do latino and non-latino grocery stores differ in the availability and affordability of healthy food items in a low-income, metropolitan region?
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVE: To compare non-ethnically based supermarkets and Latino grocery stores (tiendas) in a lower-income region with regard to the availability, quality and cost of several healthy v. unhealthy food items.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional study conducted by three independent observers to audit twenty-five grocery stores identified as the main source of groceries for 80 % of Latino families enrolled in a childhood obesity study. Stores were classified as supermarkets and tiendas on the basis of key characteristics.
SETTING: South San Diego County.
SUBJECTS: Ten tiendas and fifteen supermarkets.
RESULTS: Tiendas were smaller than supermarkets (five v. twelve aisles, P = 0·003). Availability of fresh produce did not differ by store type; quality differed for one fruit item. Price per unit (pound or piece) was lower in tiendas for most fresh produce. The cost of meeting the US Department of Agriculture’s recommended weekly servings of produce based on an 8368 kJ (2000 kcal)/d diet was $US 3·00 lower in tiendas compared with supermarkets (P < 0·001). The cost of 1 gallon of skimmed milk was significantly higher in tiendas ($US 3·29 v. $US 2·69; P = 0·005) and lean (7 % fat) ground beef was available in only one tienda (10 %) compared with ten (67 %) supermarkets (P = 0·01).
CONCLUSIONS: Barriers remain in the ability to purchase healthier dairy and meat options in tiendas; the same is not true for produce. These results highlight the potential that tiendas have in improving access to quality, fresh produce within lower-income communities. However, efforts are needed to increase the access and affordability of healthy dairy and meat products.