Food access inequalities in Chinese urban neighborhoods: a case study of the Dalian development zone
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Difficulties in accessing food exist in some Chinese cities, and it can be a challenge for residents to buy affordable, good-quality and nutritious fresh foods. This study proposes a residential building-based measure to evaluate food accessibility based on Geographic Information Systems. We used a total of eight types of food retailers and 28 food categories in our analysis and explored whether inequities in access to food existed among neighborhoods with different housing prices in the Dalian Development Zone using Kruskal-Wallis test methods. Our results show that 38% of residents living in 3724 residential buildings required between five and 10 min to access the nearest supermarket, while 10% required more than 20 min. The mean walking accessibility to stores with eggs (10 min) and with milk (10 min) was quicker than that to other types of food stores (14–16 min). In addition, high-wealth neighborhoods had better food accessibility than did low-wealth neighborhoods. However, in comparison to the other studied neighborhoods, those with medium-low-wealth had the highest level of food accessibility. Our results can be used by policymakers to better understand food access in residential areas and to help improve the food environment in Chinese cities.
KeywordsFood accessibility Public health Geographic information systems Urbanization China
We are grateful to Dr. Danny Hsu of Dalian University of Foreign Languages for his suggestions that helped us to improve our writing. We also appreciate the suggestions by Dr. Yong Wang of Dongbei University of Finance and Economics concerning the selection of a nonparametric test model. This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT18LAB13), the Program of Introducing Talents of Disciplines to Universities (B13012) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.71872031). Additionally, we appreciate the efforts made by several anonymous reviewers and editors to improve our submission.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest.
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