Does Good Food Matter? A Food Balance Study of Cleveland
30 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2012 Last revised: 5 Sep 2012
Date Written: April 8, 2012
This article seeks to expand the understanding of the impact of physical environment on life and health outcomes. The article first examines the balance of food outlets (grocery stores, fast food, and convenience stores) throughout Cleveland and surrounding communities. It then assesses the socio-economic determinants of alternative suppliers of health foods or grocery store alternatives (GSAs), these would include farmers’ markets, urban farms, and CSAs. And finally it assesses the roles of food availability on life expectancy. The results from this paper demonstrate that one of the strongest predictors of the location of GSAs are grocery stores — leading one to believe that GSAs are not filling any gaps in the availability of health foods. Secondly, this article demonstrates that it is the socio-demographic characteristics that appear to be driving life expectancy, not the availability of fresh foods or a glut of unhealthy fast food.
Keywords: Food balance, Food Desert, Food Access, Social Determinants of Life Expectancy
JEL Classification: H51, I12, I31, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation