Neighbourhood food environment and gestational diabetes in New York City


Teresa Janevic, PhD, Global Health Initiative, The MacMillan Center, Yale University, P.O. Box 208206, New Haven, CT 06520-8206, USA. E-mail:


Janevic T, Borrell LN, Savitz DA, Herring AH, Rundle A. Neighbourhood food environment and gestational diabetes in New York City. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2010; 24: 249–254.

The association between neighbourhood characteristics and gestational diabetes has not been examined previously. We investigated the relationship between the number of healthy food outlets (supermarkets; fruit/vegetable and natural food stores), and unhealthy food outlets (fast food; pizza; bodegas; bakeries; convenience, candy/nut and meat stores) in census tract of residence, and gestational diabetes in New York City. Gestational diabetes, census tract and individual-level covariates were ascertained from linked birth-hospital data for 210 926 singleton births from 2001 to 2002 and linked to commercial data on retail food outlets. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were estimated using a multilevel logistic model.

No association between food environment measures and gestational diabetes was found, with aORs ranging from 0.95 to 1.04. However, an increased odds of pre-pregnancy weight >200 lbs for women living in a given neighbourhood with no healthy food outlets [aOR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.07, 1.21] or only one healthy food place [aOR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.04, 1.18] relative to two or more healthy food outlets was found. Due to probable misclassification of neighbourhood food environment and pre-pregnancy obesity results are likely to be biased towards the null. Future research, including validity studies, on the neighbourhood food environment, obesity during pregnancy and gestational diabetes is warranted.