Get access

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.

Get access to the full text of this article