Local Food Environments : Food Access in America book cover
1st Edition

Local Food Environments
Food Access in America

ISBN 9781466567788
Published September 2, 2014 by CRC Press
348 Pages

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Book Description

Local Food Environments: Food Access in America provides information on the complex nature of food delivery systems as well as the historical and political trends that have shaped them over time. The book presents the empirical evidence demonstrating disparities in access to healthy affordable foods across the United States and how these disparities may explain food consumption patterns for some Americans as well as potential risks for diet-related illness.

The book describes the current body of research surrounding these associations and presents the methodological issues pertinent to this area of public health. Evidence from these studies is placed in context of current and past American food policies that have supported the existing food retail market including the production and retailing of foods and ways in which the consolidation of the food system has affected Americans. Research conducted regarding local food environments in Canada has also been included as a point of comparison.

Methods are discussed as well as the current state of knowledge regarding factors associated with disparities between local food environments, the effect of these disparities on the diets of residents within those communities, and the impact that local food environments have on diet-related health outcomes, such as obesity. Also described are solutions garnered to minimize local food environment inequalities currently being conducted by federal, state, and local government agencies.

Although this book focuses on US local food environments, similar issues regarding access to food are concurrently taking place outside of the US. In all chapters, readers are encouraged to critically consider the current research methods as well as recent programs and policies that aim to address local food environments.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Kimberly B. Morland

Defining Local Food Environments
Food Retailing in the United States
Food Consumption Trends in the United States
Conceptual Models and Local Food Environments

U.S. Agricultural Policies and the U.S. Food Industry: Production to Retail; Arlene Spark

U.S. Government Oversight of Agriculture
U.S. Farm Bill
Overview and History of the Farm Bill
U.S. Food Industry

Environmental Injustice Connects Local Food Environments with Global Food Production; Steve Wing

Environmental Injustice and Industrial Food Production
Industrial Farm Animal Production
Economic, Social, and Political Impacts of Industrial Animal Production

Geography of Local Food Environments: People and Places; Kimberly B. Morland

Environmental versus Individual Causes of Disease
Racial Segregation in the United States
Segregation and Area Resources
Developing a Conceptual Model
Measurement of Geographic Boundaries of Local Food Environments
Measurement of Food Availability
Evidence of Disparities in Access to Healthy Foods in the United States (1997–2013)

Local Food Environments and Dietary Intake; Barbara A. Laraia, Bethany Hendrickson, and Yun T. Zhang

Diet and Health
Measuring Diet for Local Food Environment Research
Food Environment Measures and Methods
Association Between Diet and Food Prices and Quality
School Environment
External School Environment
Summary and Conclusions

Local Food Environments and Diet-Related Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Local Food Environments, Body Weight, and Other Diet-Related Health Outcomes; Shannon N. Zenk, Esther Thatcher, Margarita Reina, and Angela Odoms-Young

Causal Conceptual Model
Study Selection
Evidence for Body Weight by Age
Evidence for Other Health Outcomes

Measurement and Analytical Issues Involved in the Estimation of the Effects of Local Food Environments on Health Behaviors and Health Outcomes
; Latetia V. Moore and Ana V. Diez-Roux

Conceptual Models
Study Design
Measurement of the Local Food Environment
Analytical Issues

Local Food Environments Outside of the United States—A Look to the North: Examining Food Environments in Canada; Jennifer Black

Introduction to Local Food Environments in Canada
Local Food Environment Research in Canada
Food Retailing in Canada
Summary of Insights from the Canadian Literature

State-Level Interventions: Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative
; Yael Lehmann, April White, Jordan Tucker, and Allison Karpyn

Importance of Supermarkets
Supermarket Campaign in Pennsylvania
Creation and Implementation of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative
Impacts of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative
Scaling Up: Replication of the Food Trust Framework and
Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative
Comprehensive Approach to Improving Food Access

Ecological Approaches to Creating Healthy Local Food Environments in the United States: Push and Pull Forces; Carol M. Devine and Jennifer L. Wilkins

Ecological Framework: Multiple Levels of Action
Approaches to Increasing Community Food Access
Surveillance and Research Needs
Going Further


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Kimberly B. Morland is an associate professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She obtained her PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina. Dr. Morland has developed new epidemiologic methods for geographically based data collection and analysis to investigate associations between neighborhood environments and residents’ behaviors that have been replicated by investigators in areas across the United States and other countries. They have also been used by community-based organizations to support local changes to commercial environments. Dr. Morland has served on a number of national and local review panels, worked with community-based organizations, and implemented one of the first interventions to address food access by developing a community-owned and community-operated food store in Brooklyn. Her research focuses on the impact of local environments on health.


"… an excellent synthesis of research (by investigators in epidemiology, public health, and nutrition) and will educate readers on this complex, controversial issue and the impact of the situation on citizens in a variety of socioeconomic conditions. … interesting and thought provoking. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals."
—S. C. Hardesty, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA for CHOICE, November 2015