Food Deserts: Are We Looking in the Right Places?
Andrea Richardson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Janne Boone-Heinonen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Barry M. Popkin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Penny Gordon-Larsen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Policymakers are targeting food deserts (lack of access to quality foods in underserved neighborhoods) in obesity reduction efforts, yet such strategies lack empirical evidence. Using a nationally representative sample (National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health 2001-02; n=13,995 young adults representing 7,588 U.S. block groups), we estimated cross-sectional relationships between availability of food resources and neighborhood poverty and racial minority population. Findings suggest that policies should address disparities in access to healthy foods in less urban areas (e.g., suburban and non-urban), in contrast to common assumptions that food deserts exist mainly in dense urban areas.
Presented in Poster Session 6