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Gordon C.,East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office | Hayes R.,East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior | Year: 2012

Objective: The present study investigates consumer responses to New York City's 2008 calorie labeling regulation in 2 lower-income neighborhoods of New York City. Methods: Focus groups were conducted, and 34 fast-food consumers participated. Group summaries and descriptive and analytic depictions of group responses and interactions were developed based on a thorough examination of the notes and tapes. Results: Findings included that there is support for the regulation, as well as skepticism regarding the potency of calorie posting as a behavior change tool. In addition, there were strong beliefs about both parental responsibility for children's eating habits as well as the role of poverty, hunger, and lack of education in food selection. Conclusions and Implications: Calorie labeling is one avenue for educating consumers about nutrition; however, given competing factors in food choice decisions as well as the realities of hunger and poverty, more proactive measures are needed. © 2012.

Gordon C.,East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office | Purciel-Hill M.,Human Impact Partners | Ghai N.R.,East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office | Kaufman L.,North and Central Brooklyn District Public Health Office | And 2 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2011

There has been growing interest in the environmental factors that contribute to poor health outcomes, particularly in areas where health disparities are pronounced. The locations of food deserts, or unhealthy food environments, correspond to areas with the highest proportions of African-American/Black residents, a population suffering from higher rates of many chronic conditions, including obesity and diabetes in our study area. This study seeks to enhance our understanding of the role of the neighborhood environment on residents' health, by examining neighborhood food availability and access in low-income and wealthier neighborhoods of New York City. We documented the neighborhood food environment and areas we call "food deserts" by creating methodological innovations. We calculated the lowest scores within East and Central Harlem and North and Central Brooklyn-areas with the highest proportions of Black residents and the lowest median household incomes. By contrast, the most favorable food desert scores were on the Upper East Side, a predominantly white, middle and upper-income area. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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