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Prices and Availability of Healthy Foods across St. Louis

Madeleine I. G. Daepp

The American Economist, 2015, vol. 60, issue 2, 209-224

Abstract: “Food deserts†—low-income neighborhoods lacking grocery stores or supermarkets—may contribute to the high prevalence of diet-related disease among low-income populations. This study surveys forty grocery and convenience stores in St. Louis, Missouri, to assess the availability and prices of healthy foods. Access to healthy food is limited across the city's low-income neighborhoods, regardless of whether they meet the federal definition of the food desert. Prices are frequently higher in convenience stores, a result that may translate into higher prices for transportation-constrained city residents. This evidence suggests that policymakers should focus on reducing the income constraints likely contributing to variable food access, rather than on addressing the “food desert†symptom.

Keywords: food access; prices; urban retail; food deserts; poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1177/056943451506000209

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Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:60:y:2015:i:2:p:209-224