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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the food landscape of Texas using the CDC’s Modified Retail Food Environment (mRFEI) and to make comparisons by border/non-border. Methods: The Modified Retail Food Environment index (mRFEI (2008)) is an index developed by the CDC that measures what percent of the total food vendors in a census track sell healthy food. The range of values is 0 (unhealthy areas with limited access to fruits and vegetables) to (100—Healthy). These data were linked to 2010 US Census socioeconomic and ethnic concentration data. Spatial analysis and GIS techniques were applied to assess the differences between border and non-border regions. Variables of interest were mRFEI score, median income, total population, percent total population less than five years, median age, % receiving food stamps, % Hispanic, and % with a bachelor degree. Results: Findings from this study reveal that food environment in Texas tends to be characteristic of a “food desert”. Analysis also demonstrates differences by border/non-border location and percent of the population that is foreign born and by percent of families who receive food stamps. Conclusions: Identifying the relationship between socioeconomic disparity, ethnic concentration and mRFEI score could be a fundamental step in improving health in disadvantage communities, particularly those on the Texas-Mexico border.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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