The Effect of Distance and Cost on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Rural Texas

Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with improved health outcomes, yet there is limited understanding of the impact of cost and accessibility on fruit and vegetable intake in rural settings. This study examines the relationship between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and their cost and accessibility among blacks and non-Hispanic whites in a rural area. Individual characteristics from a 2006 mail survey (n 5 1,510) were combined with store locations and price information from a 2006 ground-truthed census of retail outlets. The mail survey covered seven counties in central Texas with 38 supermarkets/grocery stores. Blacks tended to live closer to a supermarket or grocery store, but they were only slightly more likely than whites to consume two or more servings of fruit daily and much less likely to consume three or more servings of vegetables. Multivariate probit regression analysis revealed that neither access nor cost was related to fruit or vegetable consumption among white respondents. Among blacks, cost was also not associated with consumption. In contrast to whites, however, each additional mile was associated with a three percentage point decline in the probability of consuming two or more servings of fruit daily and a 1.8 percentage point decline in the probability of consuming three or more vegetable servings.

Marchant, Mary A.
Bosch, Darrell J.
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Journal Article
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Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 44, 4
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JEL Codes:
I12; I14; Q00; R10

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-11-28

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