Monday, 27 July 2009

In Seattle: "The Search for Affordable Nutrient Rich Foods"

A new study (.pdf) from King County (Seattle), Washington, looks into some of the leading concerns in national discussions of local food retail access -- (1) whether supermarkets are found in poor neighborhoods, and (2) whether food prices are higher in poor neighborhoods. Nadia Mahmud, Pablo Monsivais, and Adam Drewnowski find supermarkets in neighborhoods of all income levels. For most chains, outlets were found in both poor and rich neighborhoods. Each chain offered approximately the same prices in a store sampled from a poor neighborhood and a matched store sampled from a rich neighborhood. Yet, the chains differed from each other, with some chains having much higher prices in both kinds of neighborhood. The paper names the chains and has nice maps and tables of actual prices.

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