The Urban and Nutrition Transition: Using Giscience and Remote Sensing to Map Predictors of Urban Household Food Security in Accra, Ghana

Anna Carla Lopez, San Diego State University
John R. Weeks, San Diego State University

The urban transition is occurring at unprecedented rates in the poorest cities of the developing world. At the same time, urbanization has yielded higher numbers of undernourished urban households. Using survey data from the 2003 Women’s Health Study in Accra and from 2002 Quickbird satellite imagery, this study determined socioeconomic, spatial and environmental predictors of food insecurity (defined as poorly nourished households) in Accra. Logistic regression and multilevel modeling were used to determine socioeconomic, environmental and spatial predictors of food security. Results show that neighborhood vegetation cover, breastfeeding and access to sanitation services are positively related to better nutritional health and household food security. I conclude that data derived from satellite imagery can contribute important information for urban social science and health research. Additionally, improving neighborhood environments and child and maternal nutrition programs may promote better nutritional health outcomes among households in Accra.

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Presented in Session 34: Environment and Health