Accessibility and Affordability of Supermarkets: Associations With the DASH Diet

Joreintje D. Mackenbach, Thomas Burgoine, Jeroen Lakerveld, Nita G. Forouhi, Simon J. Griffin, Nicholas J. Wareham, Pablo Monsivais*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction It is unknown whether there is an interplay of affordability (economic accessibility) and proximity (geographic accessibility) of supermarkets in relation to having a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-accordant diet. Methods Data (collected: 2005–2015, analyzed: 2016) were from the cross-sectional, population-based Fenland Study cohort: 9,274 adults aged 29–64 years, living in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. Dietary quality was evaluated using an index of DASH dietary accordance, based on recorded consumption of foods and beverages in a validated 130-item, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. DASH accordance was defined as a DASH score in the top quintile. Dietary costs (£/day) were estimated by attributing a food price variable to the foods consumed according to the questionnaire. Individuals were classified as having low-, medium-, or high-cost diets. Supermarket affordability was determined based on the cost of a 101-item market basket. Distances between home address to the nearest supermarket (geographic accessibility) and nearest economically-appropriate supermarket (economic accessibility) were divided into tertiles. Results Higher-cost diets were more likely to be DASH-accordant. After adjustment for key demographics and exposure to other food outlets, individuals with lowest economic accessibility to supermarkets had lower odds of being DASH-accordant (OR=0.59, 95% CI=0.52, 0.68) than individuals with greatest economic accessibility. This association was stronger than with geographic accessibility alone (OR=0.85, 95% CI=0.74, 0.98). Conclusions Results suggest that geographic and economic access to food should be taken into account when considering approaches to promote adherence to healthy diets for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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