Physical, Consumer, and Social Aspects of Measuring the Food Environment Among Diverse Low-Income Populations

This article examines the food environment in low-income settings ranging from urban to very remote. It identifies challenges of measuring food environments across these settings and lays out solutions to assess food environments in a robust and practical manner. The authors recommend that future research should include:

  • defining the geographical boundaries of food environments;
  • determining the availability, pricing, range and quality of the food supply;
  • assessing the role of government-funded food assistance programs; and
  • investigating the impact of culture and language on food choices.

The wide range of low-income community settings will require researchers to hone their research measures to respond to the specific traits of the community being studied.