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Food Deserts and Faulty Foundations: How Urban Food Deserts Impact Childhood Development and Education

Rowe, Naydia (2022) Food Deserts and Faulty Foundations: How Urban Food Deserts Impact Childhood Development and Education. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Urban food deserts are neighborhoods typically defined as low-income areas with low access to healthy food. These areas often have no grocery stores, grocery stores with limited or no produce, or convenience stores with unhealthy options. When children and their caregivers reside in urban food deserts, they are more susceptible to becoming food insecure. In the United States, over 10% of households are food insecure households with children. Despite these food insecure homes having children, adults generally protect their children from the burden of food insecurity. When children become food insecure, they can develop a variety of physical and mental conditions that can affect their ability to concentrate in school. In urban food deserts, children face similar barriers as adults. However, children are particularly affected as they are unable to autonomously travel for better food options. Subsequently, they must rely on their parents’ choices, which are often limited by low incomes. Healthy food access is paramount to child development and achievement, particularly regarding education and standardized test scores. The public health significance associated with obtaining nutritious food items and living a healthy lifestyle is worth studying. Research indicates that a lack of access to nutritious food can lead to lower test scores among children from low-income backgrounds. This review of literature explores the association among urban food deserts, children’s nutrition, and children’s academic achievement.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rowe, NaydiaNBR11@pitt.eduNBR11
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterr@pitt.edumaterryUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberDe Carvalho, Roberta Mendoncarmdecarvalho@pitt.edurmdecarvalhoUNSPECIFIED
Date: 31 August 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 26 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: N/A
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 15:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 15:54


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