Food Desert among the Urban Poor: Examining the Local Food Environment in Ga-Mashie, Accra

Fidelia A. A. Dake, University of Ghana
Samuel N. A. Codjoe, University of Ghana
Samuel Agyei-Mensah, University of Ghana

The environment in which people live influences health behaviors and outcomes including smoking, obesity and non-communicable diseases. Among the poor, the food environment has been found to be associated with negative health outcomes including poor diets, overweight and obesity. This study examines the local food environment in Ga-Mashie, an urban poor setting in Accra, Ghana. Data on the point locations of out-of-home cooked foods, convenience stores and fruit and vegetable stands was collected using global position system technology. The results suggest the existence of a food desert in the local food environment which is mostly obesogenic in nature, characterized by an abundance of out-of-home cooked foods, convenience stores and limited fresh food options. The obesogenic nature of the local food environment poses a potential risk for obesity to residents of the study community. Further research on the influence of the food environment on obesity among the study population is recommended.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality