To access the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas Locator, please see

USDA’s Food Access Research presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility; Provides food access data for populations within census tracts; and Offers census-tract-level data on food access that can be downloaded for community planning or research purposes.USDA’s Atlas enables a user to:

Create maps showing food access indicators by census tract using different measures and indicators of supermarket accessibility;

  • Compare food access measures based on 2015 data with the previous 2010 measures;
  • View indicators of food access for selected subpopulations; and
  • Download census-tract-level data on food access measures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, good nutrition is critical to good health, disease prevention, and essential for healthy growth and development of children and adolescents. However, good nutrition is often difficult to achieve in food deserts where healthy food options are not readily available, easily accessible, or affordable in their communities. In fact, scientific studies have found that low-income and underserved communities often have limited access to stores that sell healthy food, especially high-quality fruits and vegetables.  Eliminating food deserts requires better federal and state policies driven by research.  Block and Subramanian in “Moving Beyond ‘Food Deserts’:  Reorienting United States Policies Reduce Disparities in Diet Quality” however suggest that more research is needed in order to identify which interventions are best for specific populations, including low-income and minority populations that bear a greater burden of diet-related diseases.

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