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Tools

Food Desert Locator

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an online mapping tool that locates food deserts. The Food Desert Locator also provides data on population characteristics where residents have limited access to affordable and nutritious foods, including low-income communities. The tool can be used to help advocates expand the availability of nutritious foods in these areas.

Healthier Food Retail: Beginning the Assessment Process in Your State or Community

The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a fact sheet (PDF) providing an overview of steps that state or local public health practitioners can take to assess their retail food environment. States and communities can use this tool to better understand their current food retail landscape and differences in accessibility to healthier foods. Related information can be found at:

Your Food Environment Atlas

USDA ERS has launched a new online tool, Your Food Environment Atlas, which allows users to map and compare counties across the US on the ability of their residents to access healthful food. The tool covers numerous indicators that include health, demographic, and food access characteristics.

Additional Resources

Measures of the Food Environment Webinar

Sharon Kirkpatrick and Jill Reedy of the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch presented an overview of the Measures of the Food Environment Web site, including a guided tour of the site and a discussion of challenges and opportunities as the field of food environment research continues to grow. The webinar was sponsored by the NEMS (Nutrition Environment Measures Survey) Group and CDC's State Nutrition Environment Workgroup.  The presentation slides and audio are available from the NEMS Web site.

Journal Supplement

An April 2009 supplement in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine focused on measurement of the food and physical activity environments.

Obesity Policy Research

For more information on the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences' obesity policy research related to the food environment, please see:

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2014