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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 782756, 7 pages
Research Article

Disparities of Food Availability and Affordability within Convenience Stores in Bexar County, Texas

1Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health, The University of Georgia, 330 River Road, 315 Ramsey Center, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, TAMU 1266, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA
4Department of Quality and Outcomes, University Health System-Ambulatory Services, 701 S. Zarzamora, MS 41-5, San Antonio, TX 78207, USA

Received 15 March 2013; Revised 15 June 2013; Accepted 17 June 2013

Academic Editor: David O. Carpenter

Copyright © 2013 Matthew Lee Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends healthful food choices; however, some geographic areas are limited in the types of foods they offer. Little is known about the role of convenience stores as viable channels to provide healthier foods in our “grab and go” society. The purposes of this study were to (1) identify foods offered within convenience stores located in two Bexar County, Texas, ZIP Codes and (2) compare the availability and cost of ADA-recommended foods including beverages, produce, grains, and oils/fats. Data were analyzed from 28 convenience store audits performed in two sociodemographically diverse ZIP Codes in Bexar County, Texas. Chi-squared tests were used to compare food availability, and -tests were used to compare food cost in convenience stores between ZIP Codes. A significantly larger proportion of convenience stores in more affluent areas offered bananas ( , ), whole grain bread ( , ), and baked potato chips ( , ). On average, the price of diet cola ( , ) and certain produce items (e.g., bananas, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumber) was significantly higher within convenience stores in more affluent areas. Convenience stores can play an important role to positively shape a community’s food environment by stocking healthier foods at affordable prices.