INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Project

Literature Review on the Relationship between Access to Nutritious Food and Health Outcomes

Market
Social Programs Practice Areas
Services
Research Services
Client
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service
Expertise
Applied Research Studies
Process Evaluations and Qualitative Research

Access to healthy and affordable food is central to the success of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. There has been much recent attention paid to describing the nature and extent of “food deserts” and disparities in access to healthy food. The concept of a “food desert” describes an environment that provides insufficient access to healthy and affordable food. Little is known about whether improved access to healthy, affordable food results in increased consumption of these foods and improved health outcomes. To narrow this information gap, IMPAQ conducted a literature review focused on studies addressing the relationship between access to nutritious food and improved nutritional intake or improved dietary and health outcomes. An overwhelming majority of the studies reviewed provided evidence of associations between access to food and purchasing habits, dietary intake and quality, and diet-related health outcomes.