Food Swamps Surrounding Schools in Three Areas of Guatemala
GIS SNAPSHOTS — Volume 17 — August 6, 2020
Map A portrays the food environment in Chisec, which includes 204 corner stores in an area of 0.98 square miles and contains 15 schools and 1 market. The areas surrounding 8 schools have a higher RFEI than the average of the entire setting. The mean RFEI for Chisec is 12.9, and it is therefore classified as a food swamp. Map B shows the food environment in zone 1 of Guatemala City, which includes 193 corner stores in an area of 1.03 square miles. Zone 1 contains 26 schools, 4 markets, 5 supermarkets, and 42 fast-food outlets. The areas surrounding 18 schools have a higher RFEI than the mean in zone 1. The mean RFEI for zone 1 is 12.6 and it is therefore considered a food swamp. Map C shows the food environment in zone 10 of Guatemala City, which includes 87 corner stores in an area of 1.27 square miles. Zone 10 contains 19 schools, 3 markets, 5 supermarkets, and 60 fast-food outlets. The areas surrounding 5 schools have a higher RFEI than the mean of the entire setting. The mean RFEI for zone 10 is 8.3, classifying it as a food swamp.
Figure. Retail food environment index (RFEI) (1) for 3 neighborhoods of different socioeconomic status in Guatemala: A, Chisec, a rural indigenous community located 4 hours north of Guatemala City; B, a middle-socioeconomic–status urban area of Guatemala City; and C, a high-socioeconomic–status urban area of Guatemala City. RFEI is the ratio of unhealthy to healthy food outlets: the higher the score, the less healthy the food environment. Maps identify stores — corner stores, fast-food outlets, farmers markets, and supermarkets — within a 150-meter radius of schools. All schools were located in food swamps (RFEI >3.89 = food swamp), defined as the mean RFEI across counties in the United States (2). Guatemala, September 2018.
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