Sunday, July 5, 2009

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress

"This report fills a request for a study of food deserts—areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food—from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the consequences of food deserts, lessons learned from related Federal programs, and a discussion of policy options for alleviating the effects of food deserts. Overall, findings show that a small percentage of consumers are constrained in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation."

This document is very dense with information about food deserts and their effects on people and communities as a whole. It addresses questions regarding whether individuals or communities have limited access to food. The report is organized into the following chapters:

  • The Extent of Limited Food Access in the U.S.
  • The Interaction of Neighborhood and Household Characteristics in Explaining Areas With Limited Access
  • Food Access and Its Relationship to Food Choice
  • The Economics of Supermarket and Grocery Store Location
  • Community Food Projects
  • Policy Options
  • Future Research Needs

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