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Are Oklahoma City residents OK? A socio-spatial analysis of physicians and supermarkets via accessibility and affordability

Brown, Stacey Renee
Scope and Method of Study: The scope of the study examined how the built environment could contribute to individual health by analyzing neighborhoods in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Due to poor health statistics throughout the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, accessibility to physicians and supermarkets were analyzed as possible mechanisms contributing to poor health in the MSA. Price of healthy food could also be a factor that causes residents to eat cheaper, unhealthy food. Accessibility indices, market basket prices, and bivariate spatial autocorrelation techniques were used to evaluate the built environment's influence on health.
Findings and Conclusions: The findings of the study found that the majority of the MSA had relatively good access to both physicians and supermarkets. Also, prices for the basket of goods were similar across the MSA. The rural areas had the worst access to physicians as well as Native Americans. For supermarket accessibility, rural areas again had poorer access and African-Americans had the worst access. However, in terms of pricing, African-Americans paid the least for this basket of goods and the residents without a vehicle paid the highest. The major conclusion is that physicians and supermarkets are not contributing heavily to the poor health statistics that are found in the Oklahoma City MSA.