A systematic study of an urban foodscape: The price and availability of food in greater Glasgow

  • Cummins S
  • Macintyre S
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Abstract

Summary. Previous research has suggested that foods which are bene? cial to health may be more expensive, and more dif? cult to obtain, in deprived compared with more af? uent areas, and that this may help to explain the greater adherence to healthy eating guidelines consistently reported in more af? uent areas of the UK. In this paper, we report on an investigation of the price and availability of 57 foods, previously de? ned as representing a ‘modest but adequate diet’, in different retail formats and areas differing in socioeconomic deprivation within Greater Glasgow. In this setting, shop type was the main predictor of food price and availability, cheaper prices and greater availability being mainly found in multiple and discount stores, which were more likely to be located in more deprived rather than af? uent areas. Prices did not vary greatly by area deprivation and, when they did, they tended to be lower in poorer areas. Foods cheaper in poorer areas tended towards the high-fat, high-sugar types, the consumption of which current dietary guidelines suggest need to be reduced. We suggest that these ? ndings point to the need for more systematic, empirical, large-scale studies of variations in food price and availability, and their public health consequences.

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Authors

  • Steven Cummins

  • Sally Macintyre

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