Does Healthy Food Access Matter in a French Urban Setting?
17 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: October 2015
Limited access to healthy food is commonly regarded as a contributing factor to poor dietary choices. The objective of this article is to test this hypothesis in a French context given France's increasing obesity rates and incidence of poor dietary habits. We use data on fruit and vegetable consumption frequency and different food retail availability measures, for example the number of food stores, food surface area, and a dispersion measure based on store numbers, store types, and food area surface, from several data sources in France. We also employ different types of geographic units when measuring the food retail environment and instrumental variable model specifications to test the robustness of our results, which indicate that fewer but larger retail outlets increase the odds of consuming the recommended level of fruit and vegetables. We also find that an increase in food supply dispersion will improve fruit and vegetable consumption in Paris, but not in its suburbs.
Keywords: Food access, availability, fruits and vegetables, endogeneity, French food retail
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