A Review of Studies to Address Food Deserts in the U.S. & Proposed Directions for Research

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2023

Authors

Shokar, Kareena

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Abstract

Food deserts (FDs) are classified as low-income or low-access areas where individuals lack consistent access to nutritious foods. Redlining and gentrification have assisted in forming these areas, where individuals are more likely to be obese and have nutrient deficiencies. Researchers focus their efforts on the availability of healthy foods in local retailers, assess the impacts of new food retailers in a neighborhood, and seek to understand unique contextual factors that affect particular communities’ access to food. A literature review was conducted on 43 papers to assess current trends in FD research, determine gaps in methodologies, and propose directions for future inquiry. Inclusion of community members in the study design phase, incorporation of more thorough evaluations during and after the study, and further investigation into the dynamics of food distribution is needed to facilitate food access across the United States.

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