Dr Saad Alsharrah1,2, Associate Professor Neil Coffee2, Dr Dari Alhuwail1,3, Professor Mark Daniel2
1Dasman Diabetes Institute
2University of Canberra
In the state of Kuwait, type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern with approximately 441,000 cases of diabetes for adults for an adult population of 2,922,000 (15.1%). This alarming statistic reflects recent shifts in lifestyle behaviour including insufficient physical activity and unhealthful food choices. The primary commercial food outlet (market) in Kuwait is the Co-op society stores – government sponsored mega-supermarkets providing attractive prices and profit returns to consumers. One advantage of this model is consumers hold memberships in their local Co-op, with food purchase data recorded for each member. Utilising these rich data, this study applies a spatial lens to analyse food purchase data from Co-ops and evaluates categories of food purchases in relation to demographic features and the built environment, including accessibility to Co-ops. This geospatial analytic approach provides the capacity to investigate household-level food purchase patterns as a key component of the relationships between social and built environmental factors and chronic diseases including diabetes.
Saad Alsharrah is a GIS Consultant at the Dasman Diabetes Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra. His research interests include health, social and environmental applications of GIS.