Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

Measuring the ‘healthiness’ of food outlet types in Australian suburbs’ community food environment (#194)

Hamid Moayyed 1 , Bridget Kelly 1 , Vicki Flood 2 , Jennifer Todd 1
  1. University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  2. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The availability and accessibility of food outlets, together with quality of the food available therein, appear to impact on food choices and dietary patterns among neighbourhood residents. Classifying food outlets as more healthy or less healthy can help evaluate the nature of the ‘healthiness’ of the food environment in these neighbourhoods. 24 different food outlet types were identified from an observational audit of Australian suburbs’ food environments. A purpose-designed questionnaire was developed to obtain expert opinion on the relative healthiness of food outlet types using Delphi method with two survey rounds. At the beginning of the Delphi survey, original scores were proposed for each food outlet type based on available literature, classifying them into 5 categories of ‘healthiness’. Median scores for food outlet types from Rounds 1 and 2 were highly correlated with the originally proposed scores (0.97 and 0.96 respectively, p = 0.01). A ‘healthiness’ score is proposed using the median scores of round 2 of this survey to compare food environment across Australian suburbs; and further studies can explore relationships between the suburbs ‘healthiness’ score and diet habits of the suburbs population.