Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Second Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Third Committee Member

Courtney Coughenour

Fourth Committee Member

Maria R. Casas

Number of Pages



National and county level examination of urban and rural food environments has taken place, but primary validation of venue existence and in-venue data are lacking. The literature show disparities in access to healthy foods through low density of large grocers/supermarkets, low variety and quality of produce and higher prices for a healthy diet in rural versus urban geographies. Rural areas are of unique concern due to poor health indicators such as higher obesity rates, higher diabetes rates, lower incomes and lower educations than urban residents. The goal of this study was to explore differences in the community and consumer level food environments between two Nevada geographies. Evidence was sought to test the hypotheses of venue density, the availability and quality of produce, and the price difference between standard and healthy items between rural and urban Nevada geographies. A cross-sectional study took place through direct quantitative and descriptive data collection in two rural Nevada counties and two urban census tracts in Las Vegas, NV. A Kruskal–Wallis, Mann–Whitney and a Bonferroni correction were performed on the quantitative store audit data to compare produce availability and quality scores, and the price differences between standard and healthy items between geographies. Primary data show a greater per-capita density of grocery and convenience venues in the rural area than the urban. A greater per-capita density of fast-food venues was found in the urban sample area. The variety and quality of produce in the rural grocer venues were lower than the urban supermarkets. No significant or functional price difference was found between the standard and healthier versions of select items within commonly purchased food groups, between rural and urban geographies.


Community Environment; Consumer Environment; Food Access; Garfield County; Price Difference; Whole Foods


Environmental Health | Environmental Health and Protection | Food Science | Public Health

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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