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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships that exist between food deserts, fruit and vegetable consumption and health on individuals. Using quantitative data collected through surveys that were distributed to students attending an urban higher education setting in Chicago, data was analyzed to determine relationships between the communities they live in, the amount of fresh produce they consume and their current health. The survey looked at factors such as race, income, community of residence, daily fruit and vegetable consumption, current health, diagnosis of diet-related illness for respondent and family along with the distance travelled to purchase fresh produce. The findings support the idea that the further one must travel to purchase fresh produce the more likely they are to consume less. The findings also show that those who consume less fruits and vegetables are more likely to report poorer health. The implications are to address communities who lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables in order to increase the over all health outcomes for individuals. Creating policies that encourage current storeowners or new stores that will sell fresh fruits and vegetables is one way to address the lack of access in these communities. This study shows those who must travel far to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables are less likely to consume the daily recommended amounts and also have poorer health.

R-Stack Letter of support for SPACE.pdf (121 kB)
Letter of Support from Faculty

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