Objective: This study assesses the association between living in a food desert and cardiovascular health risk among young adults in the USA, as well as evaluates whether personal and area socioeconomic status moderates this relationship. Design: A cross-sectional analysis was performed using data from Wave I (1993-1994) and Wave IV (2008) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Ordinary least squares regression models assessing the association between living in a food desert and cardiovascular health were performed. Mediation and moderation analyses assessed the degree to which this association was conditioned by area and personal socioeconomic status. Setting: Sample of respondents living in urban census tracts in the USA in 2008. Participants: Young adults (n 8896) aged 24-34 years. Results: Net of covariates living in a food desert had a statistically significant association with cardiovascular health risk (range 0-14) (β = 0·048, P < 0·01). This association was partially mediated by area and personal socioeconomic status. Further analyses demonstrate that the adverse association between living in a food desert and cardiovascular health is concentrated among low socioeconomic status respondents. Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest a complex interplay between food deserts and economic conditions for the cardiovascular health of young adults. Developing interventions that aim to improve health behaviour among lower-income populations may yield benefits for preventing the development of cardiovascular health problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cardiovascular health
- Food desert