Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Emily Connor

Faculty Sponsor

Phil Klein


Over time, socioeconomic factors, store type, and transportation distance have defined what types of foods are available to residents in urban areas and determining the overall well-being of people in that area, especially when it comes to obesity. Most cities, in one way or another, have neighborhoods that have these factors and create what is known as a food desert. Much like a desert lacking in water, a food desert lacks the availability of nutritious foods, and Denver is no exception. While Denver is known to be a healthy city, there are areas that share similar socioeconomic factors, store types, and transportation difficulties that result in a food desert and higher obesity rates in those areas. Data for this project will be examined in percent change over time to look more in depth at how neighborhoods have changed. Maps will be produced to help explain the variables and how they have affected the food deserts and the health of those residents. Through researching, there seems to be a high correlation between the variables discussed and with food deserts and obesity rates. It is expected to find that in Denver neighborhoods with more than one of the variables occurring in them will be the areas that are most likely to be food deserts. All of these factors can be instrumental in the isolation of an area and to eventually become a food desert and be an area with high obesity rates. Food deserts are a much bigger problem than many residents realize, making this issue an important one to address.

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