Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Murugi Ndirangu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deirdre Oakley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Vijay Ganji, Ph.D., RD


In an effort to deconcentrate poverty, Atlanta is attempting to become the first city in the U.S. to completely eliminate public housing by relocating ≈ 10,000 residents. Research has shown that the health status of public housing residents is worse than any other population. Evidence also suggests that there is an inverse relationship between neighborhood availability of healthy, affordable foods and diet intake. The aim of this study was to compare the price, availability, and quality of food items in the public housing residents’ communities, before and after relocation. Using Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS), a total of 42 food store audits were conducted in pre- and post-relocation neighborhoods. The prices in post-relocation middle chain grocery stores were significantly cheaper for total frozen dinners (p = 0.042), baked goods (p = 0.017), and potato chips (p = 0.035). There were no significant differences in produce quality. However, fruits (p <0>.001), vegetables (p < 0.001), lower fat milk (p < 0.001), whole milk (p =0.041), ground beef (p < 0 .001), reduced-fat hot dogs (p = 0.015), regular hot dogs (p < 0.001), frozen dinners (p < 0.001), low-fat baked goods (p < 0.001), whole-wheat bread (p <0 .001) and 100% juice (p < 0.001) were more available in middle chain grocery stores than convenience stores. These results suggest that public housing residents have relocated to a food environment that is similar to their previous environment. Relocation of public housing residence did not have a significant effect on their access to food.


Included in

Nutrition Commons