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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2681-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
DMA performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. JME made substantial contributions to the design of the study and revised the manuscript critically. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Studies suggest that the built environment with high numbers of fast food restaurants and convenience stores and low numbers of super stores and grocery stores are related to obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, and other chronic diseases. Since few studies assess these relationships at the county level, we aim to examine fast food restaurant density, convenience store density, super store density, and grocery store density and prevalence of type II diabetes among counties in South Carolina.
Pearson’s correlation between four types of food outlet densities- fast food restaurants, convenience stores, super stores, and grocery stores- and prevalence of type II diabetes were computed. The relationship between each of these food outlet densities were mapped with prevalence of type II diabetes, and OLS regression analysis was completed adjusting for county-level rates of obesity, physical inactivity, density of recreation facilities, unemployment, households with no car and limited access to stores, education, and race.
We showed a significant, negative relationship between fast food restaurant density and prevalence of type II diabetes, and a significant, positive relationship between convenience store density and prevalence of type II diabetes. In adjusted analysis, the food outlet densities (of any type) was not associated with prevalence of type II diabetes.
This ecological analysis showed no associations between fast food restaurants, convenience stores, super stores, or grocery stores densities and the prevalence of type II diabetes. Consideration of environmental, social, and cultural determinants, as well as individual behaviors is needed in future research.