What are food deserts?
Have you ever walked several kilometres before you realise that you have yet to pass a grocery store? Only to pass night shops or fast food chains, without nutritious foods or fresh produce at an affordable price?
Food deserts are commonly found in rural or disadvantaged areas where residents cannot easily access nutritious and healthy food options:
Geographically far from stores
Physical distance to a well-stocked and affordable supermarket or local market is a huge barrier for populations living in food deserts, especially for the elderly. Oftentimes, citizens in these areas will have to travel longer distances just to access healthy, nutritious and sustainable food.
Lack of affordable options
Food deserts often lack affordable food options, particularly nutritious and sustainable food options. Some studies have shown that households may even face higher food prices in food deserts compared to non-food deserts, depending on the region and availability of supermarkets.
Lack of nutritious options
Food deserts often lack healthy and nutritious options, leading to obesity, higher risk of health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes among young adults.
Lack of sustainable options
Inhabitants in food deserts are also likely to encounter a lack of sustainable food options.