Farmers markets (FM) have been proposed by researchers, policymakers, and health agencies as a potential community-level strategy to prevent obesity and reduce disparities in healthy food access in the U.S. Information about disparities in farmers market availability is scarce. This research aimed to examine county-level associations between farmers market (FM) availability and demographic, socioeconomic, health, and environmental measures in an effort to determine if disparities in availability exist in the U.S. An ecological study of 3,135 U.S. counties was conducted in 2013 using 2009-2010 data extracted from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Environment Atlas. Logistic regression and Poisson regression models were used to determine associations between county-level FM availability and measures such as percentage of non-Hispanic black residents, median household income, and number of grocery stores per 100,000 residents (i.e., per capita). Regression models were stratified by metro county status and all analyses were adjusted for state-level clustering. There were 1,774 (56.6%) counties with at least one FM available. Median household income was associated with increased odds of having at least one FM available among non-metro counties, but not metro counties. Percentage of non-Hispanic black residents and residents living in poverty were negatively associated with per capita FMs among metro and non-metro counties. Per capita fast food restaurants was negatively associated with per capita FMs among metro counties. Disparities in FM availability exist in the U.S. More research on the behavioral and health implications of farmers market availability should be conducted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis