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A Synthesis of the Literature on the Relationship Between Food Access and Overweight and Obesity in African American Adolescents

Smalls, Marquita Noelle Bullock (2013) A Synthesis of the Literature on the Relationship Between Food Access and Overweight and Obesity in African American Adolescents. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Food access shapes a community’s nutritional environment and impacts the health and physical well-being of its residents. When a community does not have adequate access to outlets that offer healthy options, it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet. As a result, we often see higher rates of chronic disease, overweight and obesity among some populations. African American communities may be disproportionately affected by overweight and obesity because of limited food access. This literature review examines the public health significance of food access and how the presence of full service grocery stores impacts eating habits and overweight and obesity among African American adolescents. The results are primarily cross-sectional studies organized and presented in three sections: (1) food environment, (2) eating habits, and (3) policy implications. The findings in this literature review suggest that the problem of overweight and obesity in African American adolescents is indeed a multi-faceted issue. While there does appear to be a correlation between access to full service supermarkets and eating behaviors, overweight and obesity, there are other factors to consider. It is unclear if the presence of more full-service supermarkets alone is enough to significantly impact a reduction of overweight and obesity among African-American youth. While quantitative studies provide important baseline data, researchers should consider developing qualitative studies that may offer additional insight into individual, family and environmental factors that vary geographically.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smalls, Marquita Noelle Bullockmns27@pitt.eduMNS27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrauth, Jeanette M.trauth@pitt.eduTRAUTH
Committee MemberDocumet, Patricia I.pdocumet@pitt.eduPDOCUMET
Committee MemberZgibor, Janice C.edcjan@pitt.eduEDCJAN
Date: 27 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 April 2013
Approval Date: 27 June 2013
Submission Date: 2 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 64
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: African American, Overweight, Obesity, Adolescents, Food Access
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2013 18:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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