Characteristics of prepared food sources in low-income neighborhoods of Baltimore City

Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 2010;49(6):409-430.
Authors: Lee SH, Rowan MT, Powell LM, Newman S, Klassen AC, Frick KD, Anderson J, Gittelsohn J

The food environment is associated with obesity risk and diet-related chronic diseases. Despite extensive research conducted on retail food stores, little is known about prepared food sources (PFSs). We conducted an observational assessment of all PFSs (N = 92) in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore. The most common PFSs were carry-outs, which had the lowest availability of healthy food choices. Only a small proportion of these carry-outs offered healthy sides, whole wheat bread, or entree salads (21.4%, 7.1%, and 33.9%, respectively). These findings suggest that carry-out-specific interventions are necessary to increase healthy food availability in low-income urban neighborhoods.

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