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Add Health CDC mRFEI dataset used to study whether food insecurity is related to obesity

Research made possible through Add Health ancillary study

Add Health boasts a nationally representative sample with hundreds of variables related to social, economic, psychological, and physical well-being and a wealth of merged contextual data.  Several of the Add Health contextual datasets were made possible via ancillary studies.  The ancillary study process is in place for investigators seeking to add supplemental data to Add Health. These ancillary studies can:

  • Collect new, original questionnaire data on Add Health respondents
  • Merge secondary data sources onto Add Health respondent or school records and requires personal identifiers (e.g., geocodes) to perform the linkages
  • Collect new biospecimens from Add Health respondents
  • Use archived biospecimens collected by the Add health study

 

Through one of these ancillary studies (Testa, 2018), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI) data were linked to Add Health respondents’ Wave IV residential location. The mRFEI, which measures the percentage of health food retailers by census tract, adds a measure of food insecurity that was previously unavailable in Add Health datasets.

In a study recently published by the Journal of Community Health, the ancillary study investigators used the mRFEI data to analyze the relationship between food insecurity, food deserts, and obesity. The results showed that food insecurity is associated with an increased risk of obesity in women, and living in a food desert is positively associated with measures of obesity for both genders.

Other datasets available thanks to dedicated Add Health ancillary investigators and the Add Health team include:

  • Wave III Academic Transcript Social Studies and Civic Coursework (ATRCVC) data (Patterson, 2018)
  • Ambient Air Pollutants Data (Richmond-Briyant & Meng, 2018)
  • Wave I, II, III Political Context Data (Fowler, Settle, & Monbureau, 2010)
  • Wave III Sex Ration Data (Falcon & Rosenfeld, 2015)
  • Wave III Alcohol Outlet Density Data (Waller, 2011 )
  • Wave I & III Obesity and Neighborhood Environment (ONE) files (Gordon-Larsen, 2009)

 

Want to learn more about Add Health ancillary studies? Check out our introductory page and read the guide for ancillary studies that you can find here. The proposal application forms are currently unavailable as the Add Health team readies the Wave V data for dissemination.  Add Health investigators and staff will resume receipt/review of applications later in 2019 after the Wave V survey and biological data have been disseminated. 

News article featuring mRFEI study:

UTSA researchers: Those with inadequate access to food likely to suffer from obesity

http://www.utsa.edu/today/2019/01/story/FoodInsecurity.html

Citation:

Testa, A., & Jackson, D. B. (2018). Food insecurity, food deserts, and waist-to-height ratio: Variation by sex and race/ethnicity. Journal of Community Health, 1-7. doi: 10.1007/s10900-018-00601-w

Selected Ancillary Study Datasets:

  • Falcon, M.F. & Rosenfeld, M.J. (2015) WAVE III County-level Sex Ratio Data [Codebook] The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
  • Fowler, J., Settle, J., & Monbureau, T. (2010). Wave I, II, III Political Context Data [Codebook]
  • Patterson, K.M. (2018). Wave III Academic Transcript Social Studies and Civic Coursework (ATRCVC) data [Codebook] The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
  • Richmond-Briyant, J & Meng, Q. (2018) Wave IV Ambient Air Pollutants: Individual Pollutant, Daily Particulate Matter, and Toxic Gas Estimates [Codebook] The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
  • Testa, A (2018). Wave IV Modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI) Data [Code book] The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health
  • Waller, M.W. (2011). Wave III Alcohol Outlet Density Data [Codebook] The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health