The impact of urbanization on the community food environment in China

Yang Wu, Hong Xue, Huijun Wang, Chang Su, Shufa Du, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Research on how urbanization has influenced the food environment in China is limited. The study aimed to examine the impact of urbanization on the food environment in China. Methods and Study Design: Longitudinal data collected during 1989-2009 from the China Health and Nutrition Survey were used, which covered 9 provinces in China. Urbanicity index (0-10) was assessed using an urbanicity scale. Final analyses included 216 communities. Random-effect models were used in analyses. Results: Urbanization (higher urbanicity index) increased the odds of having fast food restaurants (OR=2.78, 95% CI: 2.18-3.54) and other indoor restaurants (OR=2.93, 95% CI: 2.28-3.76) within the community, the odds of having supermarkets (OR=2.43, 95% CI: 2.04-2.89) and free markets (OR=2.56, 95% CI: 1.77-3.70) within 30 minutes' bus ride from the community. Food prices for apples (β=0.06, 95% CI: 0.04-0.08) and lean pork (β =0.02, 95% CI: 0.01-0.03) increased with urbanicity, while prices for other food did not. Urbanicity was positively associated with community norms for fast food consumption (RR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.22-1.33), fast food preferences (RR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.06-1.12) and nutrition knowledge (RR=1.02, 95% CI: 1.01-1.03). Conclusions: Urbanization is associated with food environment in China. The findings provide insight for future economic development and public health efforts related to urbanization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-513
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • China
  • Fast food
  • Food environment
  • Policy
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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