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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 6–11 | Cite as

Measuring and Mapping Disparities in Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Montréal

  • Lise Bertrand
  • François Thérien
  • Marie-Soleil Cloutier
Article

Abstract

Objective

This study was conducted to evaluate disparities in access to healthy food in Montréal, focusing on the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables (F/V) as an indicator.

Method

F/V selling area was measured in all food retail stores and public markets offering more than 75 square feet of fresh fruits and vegetables. An accessibility index was elaborated, taking into account motorization rates and the total surface of these fresh foods for sale within an easily accessible zone. The extent of that zone was determined differently for motorized (3 km) and non-motorized (500 m) consumers. Measures were calculated and georeferenced at the level of “Dissemination Areas” according to the 2001 Census.

Results

In general, access to healthy foods is quite good for consumers who shop by car. But 40% of the population have poor access to fruits and vegetables within a walkable distance from home. No relationship is observed between median income in dissemination areas and food supply.

Conclusion

Improved access to healthy food by non-motorized consumers is needed in many areas of Montréal. Implications of differential access to fresh fruits and vegetables for health and environmental sustainability are discussed.

Keywords

Accessibility healthy food inequalities mapping Canada 

Résumé

Objectif

Cette étude visait à évaluer les disparités dans l’accès à des aliments santé sur l’île de Montréal.

Méthode

En prenant comme indicateur la disponibilité de fruits et légumes frais, nous avons mesuré la surface de vente consacrée à ces aliments pour chacun des commerces montréalais et marchés publics offrant plus de 75 pieds carrés de fruits et légumes frais. Un indice d’accessibilité a été construit en tenant compte du taux de motorisation et de la surface totale de vente des fruits et légumes dans des zones–tampons de 500 m (distance de marche) et de 3 km (personnes motorisées). Ces mesures ont été géoréférencées à l’échelle des aires de diffusion (Recensement 2001).

Résultats

L’accès à des aliments santé apparaît relativement adéquat… à condition de disposer d’une automobile. En effet, 40% de la population n’a qu’un piètre accès aux fruits et légumes frais à distance de marche du domicile. On ne peut cependant établir de relation entre le revenu moyen dans les aires de diffusion et l’offre alimentaire.

Conclusion

De nombreux secteurs montréalais auraient besoin d’une amélioration de l’offre alimentaire de proximité. Les résultats soulèvent des préoccupations tant du point de vue de la santé que de l’environnement.

Motsclés

accès aliments santé inégalités cartographie Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Bertrand
    • 1
  • François Thérien
    • 1
  • Marie-Soleil Cloutier
    • 2
  1. 1.Agence de santé et de services sociaux de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Département de géographieUniversité de MontréalCanada

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