Healthy Food Access in Underserved Urban Areas

Client: Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University
Faculty: Nhadine Leung
Team: "Hugh Bailey, Denali Dasgupta, Alyson Evans, Brian Ross, Sarah Wu"
Year: 2008
"The Capstone team studied the problems associated with a lack of access to healthy food in underserved urban neighborhoods, and how planners can help rectify the situation. Grocery stores and supermarkets are common in suburbs, but in many poor neighborhoods with fewer transit options, healthy food is harder to find. This leads to a reliance on poor nutrition choices from fast­food outlets or convenience stores, which are common in low­income areas. Working with Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the Capstone team researched the history of food retailers, and examined planning barriers that exacerbate food­access problems. The team developed an interactive guide for plan­ners and community organizers who are interested in bringing better food options to their cities, but are unsure how to proceed. By matching characteristics and variables with past success stories, the guide is designed to get planners started on helping solve an often unnoticed public health crisis. The team also compiled a report on available literature and case studies to summarize current trends in the field. "