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Interest in areas with poor access to healthy foods, or what have often been dubbed “food deserts,” has greatly increased over the past 15 years in the USA and the world. Since the 1990s, when the concept of “food deserts” and their possible connections to health was first suggested by researchers and activists in the UK, the idea that low access to supermarkets carrying a wide variety of healthy food items may lead to negative health effects has been investigated by a number of academic and nonacademic authors. In addition, working to eliminate food deserts has become a key focus area of many organizations working on urban food issues, particularly in the USA.
The term “food desert” originated in British antipoverty activism and policy. It is generally sourced to a resident of a Scottish public housing project who used it to express the experience of living in a deprived community (Cummins and Macintyre 2002...
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