Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research is beginning to document the complexity of these interactions, but more is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions.
Objectives of the Atlas:
• To assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate
• To provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy
What information is included in the Atlas?
The Atlas assembles statistics on three broad categories of food environment factors:
• Food Choices—Indicators of the community's access to and acquisition of
• Health and Well-Being—Indicators of the community’s success in
• Community Characteristics—Indicators of community characteristics that
The Atlas currently includes 90 indicators of the food environment. The year and geographic level of the indicators vary to better accommodate data from a variety of sources. Some data are from the last Census of Population in 2000 while others are as recent as 2009. Some are at the county level while others are at the State or regional level. The most recent county-level data are used whenever possible.