Food Environments and Obesity: Household Diet Expenditure versus Food Deserts

Food Environments and Obesity: Household Diet Expenditure versus Food Deserts

Part I: Identify the Articles
1.               What is the number of the article you have chosen from the Final Project Articles document? Article Number:





2.      What is the full APA style citation of the article you identified from the references list of your final project article?  

Chen, D., Jaenicke, E. C., & Volpe, R. J. (2016). Food environments and obesity: Household diet expenditure versus food deserts. American Journal of Public Health, 106(5), 881–888.






Part II: Purpose, Research Question, and Hypothesis
1.      What is the purpose of the study?  

To examine the connections between obesity and multiple aspects of the food environments, at home and within the surroundings.



2.      What is/are the research question(s)?  

What is the relationship between obesity and multiple aspects of the food environments, at home and within the surroundings?



3.      What is/are the hypothesis(es) of the study? Obesity is positively correlated withthe multiple aspects of food environments.
4.      What is/are the explanatory variable(s)? Obesity and the weight status.




5.      What is/are the response variable(s)? ·         Individual level factors such as age, gender, and behavior responses affect obesity and the overweight status irrespective of the environment of the participant.


·         Household factors such as race, ethnicity, education, income, and home food environment.


·         Neighborhood level factors including various levels of food store types within the country, rates of poverty, metro status, and census tract-level indicators.




Part III: Research Methods
1.      What population are the researchers interested in? Residents in the U.S. counties





2.      What is the sample? How did the researchers select their sample? 38,650 participants from 18,381 households within 2,104 U.S. counties.


Using the USDA Score, researchers analyzed the adherence of monthly expenditure per household of 24 aggregated food categories as recommended by the US Department of Agriculture Food Plans among other chosen government organizations.



3.      How did the researchers collect their data? Data werealso collected using the home scanning devices for home foods and using multilevel data set from varioussources.




4.      What statistical analysis did the researchers use? The researchers applied the descriptive statistical analysis approach in connection to the USDA recommended score measurement(Chen, Jaenicke, & Volpe, 2016; Morland&Evenson, 2009).






Part IV: Results or Key Findings
1.      What was/were the result(s) of the research question(s)? Neighborhood food environment factors were examined in the context ofthe obesity status even in the presence of controlled home food environment factors

The USDA Score was negatively correlated with the obesity status.



2.      What were the differences in the groups that were being studied? ·         Several recent studies uncovered the significant relationships between the neighborhood food environment and health outcomes. This was especially applicable tothe obesity status.

·         Among the studies that confirmed the close connections, the obesity status was negatively related to supermarket counts and it was no statistically significant connection between the obesity within county levels and the population in food desert tracts.

·         At least one study confirmed the associationbetween the rate of obesity within county levels and the percentage of the county’s population living in food desert tracts.



3.      Did the result support the researchers’ hypothesis or not?  

The study findings supported the hypothesis.




4.      List (with support) any other results that you found interesting. After controlling several confounders at individual, household, and neighborhood levels, the USDA Score was found to be negatively correlated with the obesity status (Chen, Jaenicke, & Volpe, 2016; Morland&Evenson, 2009). After the researchers applied control measures, the census tract-level indicators of food desert status were still found to be positively relatedto the obesity status.






Part V: Limitations
1.                What did the researchers state as the limitations of their study? ·         Inconsistentchoice of measurement variables from the chosen onesby previous scholars

·         Complication in data collection –Measurement of food available at home is labor intensive and constrained by the duration of data collection.

·         Time limit: Food frequency questionnaires and the 24-hour recalls have the considerable measurement errors with bias beinghigherfor food frequency questionnaires.




2.      Why are these limitations? ·         The varied choice of variables resulted into the inconsistency of effects and efforts in each case.

·         Due to the numerous choices of variables, collection and compilation of data werechallenging.

·         There were numerous variables to be tested, which required additionalefforts and time.





3.      Please list a question you have about the study that was not addressed in this article. How can the environmental variables be controlled to overcome the issue of obesity in different ethnic groups?