Cover: Police Bias and Low Relatability and Diet Quality

Police Bias and Low Relatability and Diet Quality

Examining the Importance of Psychosocial Factors in Predominantly Black Communities

Published in: Journal of Urban Health, Volume 100, pages 924-936 (October 2023). doi: 10.1007/s11524-023-00785-0

Posted on rand.org Nov 6, 2023

by Andrea S. Richardson, Rebecca L. Collins, Rachel M. Burns, Jonathan H. Cantor, Sameer M. Siddiqi, Tamara Dubowitz

How police bias and low relatability may contribute to poor dietary quality is poorly understood. In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from 2021 from a cohort of n = 724 adults living in predominantly Black communities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; these adults were mostly Black (90.6%), low-income (median household income $17,500), and women (79.3%). We estimated direct and indirect paths between police mistrust and dietary quality (measured by Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015) through perceived stress, community connectedness, and subjective social status. Dietary quality was poor (mean HEI-2015 score was 50) and mistrust of police was high: 78% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that something they say might be interpreted as criminal by the police due to their race/ethnicity. Police bias and low relatability was associated with lower perceived social status =  − 0.03 (95% confidence interval [CI]: − 0.05, − 0.01). Police bias and low relatability was marginally associated with low dietary quality β =  − 0.14 (95% CI: − 0.29, 0.02). Nineteen percent of the total association between police bias and low relatability and lower dietary quality β =  − 0.16 (− 0.01, − 0.31) was explained by an indirect association through lower community connectedness, or how close respondents felt with their community Police bias and low relatability may play a role in community connection, social status, and ultimately dietary disparities for Black Americans. Addressing police bias and low relatability is a continuing and pressing public health issue.

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