Background: Perceptions of neighbourhood attributes such as proximity of food retailers that are discordant with objective measures of the same are associated with poor health behaviours and weight gain. Factors associated with discordant perceptions are likely relevant to planning more effective interventions to improve health. Purpose: Analysis of cross-sectional relationships between individual and neighbourhood factors and overestimations of walking distances to local fruit/vegetable retailers (FVR). Methods: Perceived walking times, converted to distances, between participant residences and FVR were compared with objectively-assessed road network distances calculated with a Geographic Information System for n = 1305 adults residing in Adelaide, South Australia. Differences between perceived and objective distances were expressed as 'overestimated' distances and were analysed relative to perceptions consistent with objective distances. Cross-sectional associations were evaluated between individual socio-demographic, health, and area-level characteristics and overestimated distances to FVR using multilevel logistic regression. Results: Agreement between objective and perceived distances between participants' residence and the nearest FVR was only fair (weighted kappa = 0.22). Overestimated distances to FVR were positively associated with mental well-being, and were negatively associated with household income, physical functioning, sense of community, and objective distances to greengrocers. Conclusions: Individual characteristics and features of neighbourhoods were related to overestimated distances to FVR. Sense of connectivity and shared identity may shape more accurate understandings of local resource access, and offer a focal point for tailored public health initiatives that bring people together to achieve improved health behaviour.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
|Published - 9 Apr 2019