Measuring local retail food environments provides important information about community access to healthy food. Food access has many dimensions that can contribute to food purchasing patterns. Researchers at the Rudd Center are involved in measuring food environments and the role that they play in community health, particularly in low-income and urban areas. More specifically, our research has focused on the relationship between food deserts, or neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food, food swamps, areas where fast food, junk food outlets, and convenience stores outnumber healthy food options, and obesity.
View Rudd Center research on food environments below.
- Cooksey-Stowers K, Jiang Q, Atoloye A, Lucan S, Gans K. Racial Differences in Perceived Food Swamp and Food Desert Exposure and Disparities in Self-Reported Dietary Habits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020 September 2020,17,7143:1-14.
- Cooksey-Stowers K, Schwartz M, Brownell K. Food Swamps Predict Obesity Rates Better Than Food Deserts in the United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017 November 1-20.
Small and Non-Traditional Food Store Environments
- Caspi CE, Lenk K, Pelletier JE, Barnes TL, Harnack L, Erickson DJ, Laska MN. Association between store food environment and customer purchases in small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017 Jun 5;14(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0531-x.
- Caspi, C., Lenk, K., Pelletier, J., Barnes, T., Harnack, L., Erickson, D., & Laska, M. (2017). Food and beverage purchases in corner stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Public Health Nutrition, 20(14), 2587-2597. doi:10.1017/S1368980016002524
- Caspi CE, Pelletier JE, Harnack L, Erickson DJ, Laska MN. Differences in healthy food supply and stocking practices between small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Public Health Nutr. 2016 Feb;19(3):540-7. doi: 10.1017/S1368980015002724.
- Caspi CE, Pelletier JE, Harnack LJ, Erickson DJ, Lenk K, Laska MN. Pricing of Staple Foods at Supermarkets versus Small Food Stores. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(8):915.
- Laska MN, Caspi CE, Pelletier JE, Friebur R, Harnack LJ. Lack of Healthy Food in Small-Size to Mid-Size Retailers Participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota, 2014. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:150171. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.150171.