Disparities and access to healthy food in the United States: A review of food deserts literature

Health Place. 2010 Sep;16(5):876-84. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.04.013. Epub 2010 Apr 24.


Increasingly, studies are focusing on the role the local food environment plays in residents' ability to purchase affordable, healthy and nutritious foods. In a food desert, an area devoid of a supermarket, access to healthy food is limited. We conducted a systematic review of studies that focused on food access and food desert research in the United States. The 31 studies identified utilized 9 measures to assess food access. Results from these studies can be summarized primarily into four major statements. Findings from other countries offer insight into ways, in which future research, policy development and program implementation in the U.S. may continue to be explored.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Food, Organic / supply & distribution*
  • Humans
  • Marketing
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Restaurants / statistics & numerical data
  • United States