Recent studies indicate the accepted concept of using land-use mix (LUM) to promote physical activity is ineffective and even counteractive in the Chinese context. Before considering LUM as a whole, different amenity types need to be respectively analyzed in relation to various functions and demands. This study aims to examine the specific associations between food-related amenities and perceived daily walking duration (WD) in small Chinese cities. Two interviewer-administered questionnaire surveys (n = 354) were conducted in Yuncheng and Suihua between 2017 and 2018. Logistic regression models were used to examine the associations of WD with seven different categories of food outlet at three levels of walking distance. The associations were further explored by food environment diversity and through two age groups. With the exception of café/tea house, the other six food outlets were positively associated with WD. After adjusting for socioeconomic variables, the associations of grocery store and supermarket weakened. Higher levels of food environment diversity were associated with a longer WD. Among the age groups, food outlets were more associated with older adults’ WD. This novel quantitative study suggests that increasing the number and heterogeneity of food-related amenities (including mobile street vendors) within a neighborhood can enhance physical activity in small Chinese cities.
- food environment diversity
- food outlets
- street vending
- age related differences
- Chinese neighbourhood environment