Mapping access to food at a local level

Angela J.M. Donkin (Research Fellow, Public Health Nutrition Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London)
Elizabeth A. Dowler (Senior Lecturer, Public Health Nutrition Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London)
Simon J. Stevenson (Research Fellow, Environmental Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London)
Sheila A. Turner (Reader in Education, Head of Science and Technology Group, Institute of Education, University of London)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 August 1999

Abstract

Access to food is currently on the political agenda. This paper presents a quantitative method for local level use to help identify the geographic location of areas with inadequate access to food. A census of retail outlets selling food of any kind was carried out in a deprived area within a 2km radius from a central point between two estates. Information on the price and availability of “healthy” food lists, acceptable to each of the four major ethnic groups in the area, was collected. The food lists were not mutually exclusive. Food shops were mapped in terms of food availability and price indices using Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Maps show, progressively: roads within/outside 500m of a postcode with any outlet selling food; any outlet selling more than 50 per cent of the food list, below the area mean price, acceptable to a Gujarati Hindu; the latter in relation to population density. Within the area analysed there appears to be reasonable walking access to the more reasonably priced shops within the area, however the cost of a healthy diet would still require more than 50 per cent of the income of someone in receipt of income support.

Keywords

Citation

Donkin, A., Dowler, E., Stevenson, S. and Turner, S. (1999), "Mapping access to food at a local level", British Food Journal, Vol. 101 No. 7, pp. 554-564. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070709910279054

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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