Purpose: To investigate whether fast food outlets and supermarkets are socially patterned in the city of Copenhagen. Methods: The study was based on a cross-sectional multivariate approach to examine the association between the number of fast food outlets, supermarkets, and neighborhood level socio-economic indicators in 2006. Food business addresses were obtained from commercial and public business locators for all neighborhoods in the city of Copenhagen (n = 400). We applied area-level socio-economic and demographic information from Statistics Denmark. Counts of fast food outlets and supermarkets were regressed on SES indicators (percentage of: recent immigrants, lack of high school diploma, population under 35 yr, and average household income in Euros) using negative binomial analysis. Findings: In the fully adjusted models, income was significantly associated with fast food exposure, but not with supermarket exposure. Using backwise deletion from the fully adjusted models, low income, in the presence of populations under 35 yrs of age, remained a significant predictor for fast food outlet exposure (IRR = 0.66-0.80) in the final model. Conclusions: In the city of Copenhagen, low-income neighborhoods have better exposure to supermarkets than their high income counterparts. However, we detected the opposite trend in the patterning of fast food outlets, such that neighborhoods in the lowest income quartile had less exposure to food outlets than higher income ones. These findings support studies conducted in the UK, but not in the U.S. The results suggest no social patterning of food exposure in Europe.
built environment; food outlets; Socioeconomic Factors