Wrigley, Neil, Warm, Daniel, Margetts, Barrie and Whelan, Amanda
Assessing the impact of improved retail access on diet in a 'food desert': a preliminary report
Urban Studies, 39, (11), . (doi:10.1080/0042098022000011362).
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If poor food retail access in deprived areas of British cities is linked, as suggested in many of the policy debates of the late 1990s, via compromised diets/undernutrition to poor health and widening health inequalities, what is the impact of a sudden and significant improvement in food retail access likely to be on the food consumption patterns of residents? In this paper, we describe and provide preliminary results from the first-ever UK study of a major retail provision on diet in a 'food desert' - a 'before/after' study of food consumption patterns in the highly deprived, previously poor food retail access area of Seacroft, Leeds, experiencing a sudden and significant change in its food retail access as a result of the opening of a large superstore by the UK's leading food retailer. We suggest that this study has the potential to provide some of the missing links between poor food retail access, compromised diets/undernutrition, poor health and compound social exclusion that characterised statements on the topic of 'food deserts' in the health inequalities and social exclusion debates of the late 1990s, and that its findings may have significant implications for policy debate.
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