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Salad, soda and socioeconomic status: Mapping a social determinant of health in Seattle

Published on February 6, 2019

Salad and soda can
Image Credit: Pixabay: Labeled for reuse

Seattle residents who live in waterfront neighborhoods tend to have healthier diets compared to those who live along Interstate-5 and Aurora Avenue, according to new research on social disparities from the University of Washington School of Public Health. The study used local data to model food consumption patterns by city block. Weekly servings of salad and soda served as proxies for diet quality.

The dramatic geographic disparities between salad eaters and soda drinkers were driven by house prices, according to the study. The lowest property values were associated with less salad and more soda; the opposite was true of the highest property values, after adjusting for demographics.

This is the first study to model eating patterns and diet quality at the census-block level, the smallest geographic unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau. The paper, published Jan. 9 in the journal Social Science and Medicine – Population Health, provides a new area-based tool to identify communities most in need of interventions to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

“Our dietary choices and health are determined to a very large extent by where we live,” said the study’s lead author, Adam Drewnowski, professor of epidemiology and director of the Nutritional Sciences Program and Center for Public Health Nutrition at the School. “In turn, where we live can be determined by education, incomes and access to both material and social resources. We need a closer look at the socioeconomic determinants of health.”

Continue reading at UW Center for Public Health Nutrition

Originally posted on the UW School of Public Health
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