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Pete Beaumont, "Fastfood Alley [Again]," July 2010

Changing Perspectives on Food Deserts

Challenging the Current Policy Framework and Proposing a Way Forward to Address America’s Obesity Epidemic

Project Lead:


Antra Bhatt, Pablo Balsinde


We review the body of research on food deserts: how they form, what policies have been proposed to combat them, and how effective those policies have been. All major policy responses to food deserts have maintained an approach focused on the supply side as the root of the problem, most often subsidizing the establishment of new grocery stores. We seek to highlight the main emerging trend in the literature, which increasingly questions both the theory and success of the supply-side approach, and explores how considering the demand side and implementing locally specific policies can more holistically address nutritional inequalities.

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