Spatial Barriers to Transforming toward a Healthy Food System in the Noreste of Mexico

Nutrients. 2024 Apr 24;16(9):1259. doi: 10.3390/nu16091259.


In the past five decades, global food systems have undergone a notable transition, moving from predominantly rural settings to increasingly urban and industrialized environments, largely driven by processes of globalization and supply chain integration. However, this evolution has not adequately addressed equitable access to nutritious diets and food environments, resulting in adverse health outcomes. This study delves into the spatial and non-spatial barriers that impede the adoption of healthy diets in the Noreste of Mexico, particularly focusing on the challenges associated with accessing and cultivating plant-based foods. Through an examination of suitable areas for urban agriculture and an exploration of the socio-cultural factors influencing the adoption of plant-based diets, the research focuses on interventions aimed at promoting healthier and more sustainable eating practices in Monterrey. The findings of the study reveal significant disparities in food access across the Monterrey metropolitan area, with central urban zones exhibiting superior access to fresh foods compared to suburban and peripheral regions. This inequality disproportionately affects marginalized areas characterized by higher poverty rates, exacerbating issues of food insecurity. Nevertheless, traditional dietary practices could offer promising avenues for creating culturally significant and healthier dietary transitions, even amidst the ongoing process of urbanization.

Keywords: food environments; food security; plant-based diets; traditional gastronomy; urban agriculture.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Food Insecurity
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Rural Population
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Urbanization

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.