Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Food Availability and Cost of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Dietary Pattern

Authors

  • Christopher M. Young MD, MPH,

    1. From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL;1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition;2 and Duke Hypertension Center, Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center,3 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
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  • 1 Bryan C. Batch MD,

    1. From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL;1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition;2 and Duke Hypertension Center, Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center,3 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
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  • and 2 Laura P. Svetkey MD, MHS 3

    1. From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL;1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition;2 and Duke Hypertension Center, Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center,3 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
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Bryan C. Batch, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Duke University Medical Center, Baker House 0372-A, DUMC 3031, Durham, NC 27710
E-mail: batch008@mc.duke.edu

Abstract

The authors assessed food availability and cost of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary pattern and patients' opinion concerning diet and blood pressure by surveying grocery stores and clinic patients in low- and high-socioeconomic status (SES) areas of Boston, Massachusetts. The proportion of DASH items found in stores in low- and high-SES communities was not significantly different (46.5% compared with 75%; P=.2896). The cost of eating a DASH meal plan was significantly more expensive in high-SES communities ($40.20 compared with $30.73 per week; P=.0413). The authors' results suggest that DASH diet foods are available in low- and high-SES communities, but there is a strong trend toward less food availability in low-SES communities. Eating the DASH diet, however, is more expensive in high-SES communities. Increased information, food availability, and affordability are likely to lead to more widespread adoption of the DASH diet.

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