Because supermarkets are a critical part of the community food environment, the purpose of this paper is to examine the association between accessibility to the supermarket where participants were surveyed, frequency of shopping at the supermarket, and self-reported and objectively-assessed fruit and vegetable consumption. Accessibility was assessed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) measured distance and multiple versions of the modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI), including a localized road network buffer version. Frequency of shopping was assessed using self-report. The National Cancer Institute Fruit and Vegetable screener was used to calculate daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Skin carotenoids were assessed using the “Veggie Meter™” which utilizes reflection spectroscopy to non-invasively assess skin carotenoids as an objective measure of fruit and vegetable consumption. Bivariate and multivariable statistics were used to examine the associations in RStudio. There was a positive association between skin carotenoids and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) and mRFEI scores, suggesting that WIC participation and a healthier food environment were associated with objectively-assessed fruit and vegetable consumption (skin carotenoids). Future research should examine these associations using longitudinal study designs and larger sample sizes.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Nutrients, v. 10, issue 12, 1974, p. 1-17.

© 2018 by the authors.

Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Funding Information

This research was funded by US Department of Agriculture (Duke–UNC Behavioral Economics and Choice Research Center New Perspectives Fellowship, grant number 59-5000-4-0062); USDA—NIFA Hatch Funds supported Dr. Alison Gustafson; the APC was funded by internal funds from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.