Public Health Effects of Food Deserts

Posted by on January 12, 2009

Workshop on the Public Health Effects of Food Deserts

An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a two-day workshop on the public health implications of food deserts. In this context, food desert is defined as a rural or urban low-income neighborhood or community with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. The workshop will include presentations and discussions that will focus on the health effects on local populations (including both adults and children) of limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Invited workshop presentations will discuss the impacts of food deserts on such outcomes as overall dietary intake (including examination of specific foods, such as fruit and vegetable consumption and intake of high energy, low nutrient foods); prevalence of obesity and overweight; the existence of micronutrient deficiencies; food insecurity; and the incidence of chronic diseases associated with poor diets. In addition, presentations will cover promising strategies for mitigating the impacts of food deserts that have been suggested, implemented, or are in the planning stages. An individually-authored summary of the workshop will be prepared.

The workshop will be held on January 26-27, 2009 at the Keck Center of the National Academies at 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC.  The public is welcome to attend all sessions of this workshop, which will commence with registration at 8:00 a.m. on January 26, 2009, and conclude at 4:30 p.m. on January 27, 2009.  The workshop is sponsored by the USDA Economic Research Service.  If you would like to register to attend this workshop click here:

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