Measuring food access in Melbourne: access to healthy and fast foods by car, bus and foot in an urban municipality in Melbourne

Health Place. 2007 Dec;13(4):877-85. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2007.02.005. Epub 2007 Apr 30.


Access to healthy food can be an important determinant of a healthy diet. This paper describes the assessment of access to healthy and unhealthy foods using a GIS accessibility programme in a large outer municipality of Melbourne. Access to a major supermarket was used as a proxy for access to a healthy diet and fast food outlet as proxy for access to unhealthy food. Our results indicated that most (>80%) residents lived within an 8-10 min car journey of a major supermarket i.e. have good access to a healthy diet. However, more advantaged areas had closer access to supermarkets, conversely less advantaged areas had closer access to fast food outlets. These findings have application for urban planners, public health practitioners and policy makers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Food Supply*
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Geography*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Class*
  • Urban Population
  • Walking