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South Phoenix Community-Based Needs Assessment

Description

According to the CDC, over 1/3 of Americans are considered obese (CDC, 2015). Being overweight makes individuals at high risk for developing countless diseases that lead to premature death. Most

According to the CDC, over 1/3 of Americans are considered obese (CDC, 2015). Being overweight makes individuals at high risk for developing countless diseases that lead to premature death. Most of these diseases are preventable with healthy weight attained by nutritious diet and regular exercise. People living in food deserts such as Harmon have limited access to healthy food options. Access to supermarkets and nutritious foods is connected to healthy body weight and decreased obesity while increased access to convenience stores is connected to increased obesity rates (Beaulac et al., 2009). A survey was formulated for residents of the Harmon community to better understand their food preferences, limitations, and needs. The results gathered from the survey indicate that people in Harmon have a desire to eat healthfully, but there are barriers such as access and price of food that limit their ability to make smart food choices. The survey results also suggest that there is a potential lack of understanding regarding nutrition and what healthful eating actually means.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Working towards Garden of Eden: Developing practical solutions to combat food insecurity in food deserts

Description

Food deserts and food insecurity can negatively impact the health of communities. Urban farming, specifically with aeroponics systems, could be a possible solution in alleviating food insecurity in food deserts.

Food deserts and food insecurity can negatively impact the health of communities. Urban farming, specifically with aeroponics systems, could be a possible solution in alleviating food insecurity in food deserts. In order to test and understand what type of system and products work best in such areas, this thesis looks at urban farming from farms' and consumers' perspective using qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data was collected from current businesses that are using urban farming techniques within the Phoenix valley. Based on the quantitative research, the consumers studied seemed willing to eat leafy greens and vegetables given that they are affordable, fresh, and they understand how to cook them. Further research could be a more focused study on residents of specific neighborhoods that are classified as food deserts. Another aspect that could be researched further is the other factors affecting the health of residents located in food deserts other than the availability of food. This could include, but is not limited to, lack of nutritional education, insufficient cooking materials, and personal food preferences.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Community Development, Sustainability, and Food Access; A Case Study of Community Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase

This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase food access. By measuring the temperature at various community gardens throughout Phoenix, AZ, community gardens were shown to minimize local effects of the urban heat island. Because they use water to survive and Phoenix, AZ is in a desert, this contributes to a depleting water supply. Interviews of gardeners from community gardens throughout Phoenix depicted that community gardens can provide sites for community development as well as promoting food access.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Food on the Brain: A Correlational Examination of Food Deserts and Mental Illness Prevalence in the United States

Description

Food insecurity is a major issue within the United States. Millions of households experience limited food availability, especially in regions deemed food deserts. Food deserts are geographical regions across the

Food insecurity is a major issue within the United States. Millions of households experience limited food availability, especially in regions deemed food deserts. Food deserts are geographical regions across the United States that possess limited access to grocery stores or supermarkets, and thus limited access to healthy food options. Individuals living in food deserts are at an increased risk of developing a mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Attentional Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Mental health is often associated with one’s environment or genetic susceptibility, and treatments are often focused on psychotherapeutic methods and prescription medication. In investigating food deserts and diets characteristic of food deserts, one can begin to make connections between food and mental health. Dietary patterns that exhibit greater concentrations of fats and sugars are associated with many of the symptoms of common mood disorders and are significant in producing biological indicators, like inflammation, which is identified in various neurodegenerative disorders. Brain foods like vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids among others, provide a unique lens into the ways the food and the brain interact, specifically through a concept termed the gut-brain axis. Research surrounding these connections, especially in a newer field called nutritional psychiatry, inform the ways in which researchers, scholars, and medical professionals understand mental health and food insecurity. These connections may also prompt future research in the field focused on food-based treatments and the use of food as a preventative form of medicine.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

Food Insecurity through the Lens of Sustainability: A Case Study of Phoenix, Arizona

Description

Food insecure populations suffer from the ability to access affordable and nutritious foods as a result of financial and transportation needs. Often these populations are concentrated in areas referenced as

Food insecure populations suffer from the ability to access affordable and nutritious foods as a result of financial and transportation needs. Often these populations are concentrated in areas referenced as food deserts. A food desert is an area that does not have a supermarket or large grocery store within a mile and often is saturated with small non-traditional food stores and fast- food establishments. In this study, 21 food deserts along Grand Avenue in Downtown Phoenix were analyzed to better understand their access to food, population statistics and barriers to being food secure. The research question analyzed is the impact food insecurity has on communities in Phoenix, Arizona. The findings are presented in the form of a research paper, as well as 15 black and white film photographs accompanied by descriptions. There is primary qualitative data presented through photographs and observations, as well as secondary quantitative data analyzed from Census data. The food deserts studied consist of communities that are low-income and majority minority with little to no access to nutritious food in their area. The economics of food insecurity and grocery stores, racial discrimination, access to transportation, impacts on health and education and the sustainability of food deserts are all aspects of food insecurity discussed in the research. Possible solutions such as community gardens and subsidized grocery stores are also presented. The study revealed that food insecurity has several negative impacts on the affected populations and communities and disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Reenvisioning Victory Gardens for Food Deserts

Description

Abstract
Local organic gardening once experienced great popularity with Americans. At one time promoted and prominent, local gardens became obscure, old-fashioned, and outmoded. However, in the last few decades, for

Abstract
Local organic gardening once experienced great popularity with Americans. At one time promoted and prominent, local gardens became obscure, old-fashioned, and outmoded. However, in the last few decades, for various reasons, local organic gardening has made some progress. This study seeks to assist high-density, low-income, inner-city Americans, who often do not have have easy or affordable access to fresh whole food by creating sustainable, resilient, local, urban gardens. However, this effort does not attempt to address the needs of entire populations of census tracts, rather one suburban home, one small apartment complex, or one small community garden. O​ ne solution to the problems associated with food insecurity is to put the creativity and responsibility into the hands of those who need the food, allow them to work within a self-sustaining garden, and decide what to do with any excess food. W​ ith the help of Greg Peterson, Phoenix’s own urban farmer, this project set out to create a system using Phoenix’s limited amount of rainfall to create a aquaponic gardening system which will be used in micro-communities such as multi-family complexes, middle schools, or high schools, in order to help grow food for these communities and alleviate some of the difficulties of finding fresh food in the desert.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Food deserts, food hubs, and farmers markets in Arizona: an analysis of proximity and potential for increasing food access

Description

Food deserts are defined as regions with low average income, low accessibility to grocery stores, and high adverse health outcomes. Food deserts have thus become an important area of public

Food deserts are defined as regions with low average income, low accessibility to grocery stores, and high adverse health outcomes. Food deserts have thus become an important area of public health research, and many actions are being taken across the country to "solve" the variety of problems food deserts represent. Despite the many solutions promoted to improve food security, healthy food access, and health outcomes among individuals living in food desert areas, not all activities have been critically assessed for their potential for sustained impact. Further, little research has been conducted in the state of Arizona regarding food-related ‘assets’ available to employ in solutions to food desert problems. This analysis gives a glimpse into the complex nature of food deserts, which are impacted by a variety of factors, from economics to public policy to culture. It further provides a current assessment of available assets for potential use in ameliorating the negative impacts of food deserts on Arizona citizens. A graphical asset mapping analysis offers specific consideration of farmers markets and food hubs to possibly aid food deserts in the state.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Residence in a deprived urban food environment: food access, affordability, and quality in a Paraguayan food desert

Description

Food deserts are the collection of deprived food environments and limit local residents from accessing healthy and affordable food. This dissertation research in San Lorenzo, Paraguay tests if the assumptions

Food deserts are the collection of deprived food environments and limit local residents from accessing healthy and affordable food. This dissertation research in San Lorenzo, Paraguay tests if the assumptions about food deserts in the Global North are also relevant to the Global South. In the Global South, the recent growth of supermarkets is transforming local food environments and may worsen residential food access, such as through emerging more food deserts globally. This dissertation research blends the tools, theories, and frameworks from clinical nutrition, public health, and anthropology to identify the form and impact of food deserts in the market city of San Lorenzo, Paraguay. The downtown food retail district and the neighborhood food environment in San Lorenzo were mapped to assess what stores and markets are used by residents. The food stores include a variety of formal (supermarkets) and informal (local corner stores and market vendors) market sources. Food stores were characterized using an adapted version of the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Stores (NEMS-S) to measure store food availability, affordability, and quality. A major goal in this dissertation was to identify how and why residents select a type of food store source over another using various ethnographic interviewing techniques. Residential store selection was linked to the NEMS-S measures to establish a connection between the objective quality of the local food environment, residential behaviors in the local food environment, and nutritional health status. Using a sample of 68 households in one neighborhood, modeling suggested the quality of local food environment does effect weight (measure as body mass index), especially for those who have lived longer in poorer food environments. More generally, I find that San Lorenzo is a city-wide food desert, suggesting that research needs to establish more nuanced categories of poor food environments to address how food environments emerge health concerns in the Global South.

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Date Created
  • 2012