Presentation Title

Food Deserts

Presenter Information

Sarah CraigFollow

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Major

Environmental Science

Anticipated Graduation Year

2023

Access Type

Restricted Access

Abstract

It should not be a privilege to eat healthy. Food deserts are an environmental justice issue and public health issue. The USDA defines a food desert as a situation where 33% or more of the population lives over 1 mile away from a grocery store in urban areas and 33% lives over 10 miles away in rural areas. A food desert is a region where the people living within the given area lack access to affordable produce and healthy groceries. Food deserts occur in low income neighborhoods and towns and poor neighborhoods also have more fast food options than wealthy neighborhoods, and makes unhealthy meals the most available food to people living in food deserts. Low income neighborhoods are not attractive markets to grocery retailers which exacerbates the issue. Without healthy food, people are more likely to develop diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. 23-39 million Americans live in a food desert. This issue is ongoing and solutions need to include better education about nutrition and reading food labels, better access to grocery stores through public transportation and economic development can help neighborhoods move out of a food desert. Cities can offer zoning allowances, tax holidays, or tax rebates to private retailers who will move into low income areas.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Justin Harbison

Comments

Citations:

Dutko, Paula, Michele Ver Ploeg, and Tracey Farrigan. Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts, ERR-140, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August 2012.

Hilmers, Angela et al. “Neighborhood disparities in access to healthy foods and their effects on environmental justice.” American journal of public health vol. 102,9 (2012): 1644-54. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300865

Fuhrman, Joel MD. “The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Food.” National Library of Medicine. 2018 April 3

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Food Deserts

It should not be a privilege to eat healthy. Food deserts are an environmental justice issue and public health issue. The USDA defines a food desert as a situation where 33% or more of the population lives over 1 mile away from a grocery store in urban areas and 33% lives over 10 miles away in rural areas. A food desert is a region where the people living within the given area lack access to affordable produce and healthy groceries. Food deserts occur in low income neighborhoods and towns and poor neighborhoods also have more fast food options than wealthy neighborhoods, and makes unhealthy meals the most available food to people living in food deserts. Low income neighborhoods are not attractive markets to grocery retailers which exacerbates the issue. Without healthy food, people are more likely to develop diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. 23-39 million Americans live in a food desert. This issue is ongoing and solutions need to include better education about nutrition and reading food labels, better access to grocery stores through public transportation and economic development can help neighborhoods move out of a food desert. Cities can offer zoning allowances, tax holidays, or tax rebates to private retailers who will move into low income areas.