A number of cities have taken up programs to put more fresh foods into corner stores to improve so-called “food deserts.” Nevin Cohen, an assistant professor at the New School in New York, shares his thoughts on whether having more fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income neighborhoods really affects obesity rates–or if the problem goes beyond access to certain foods.

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Nevin Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at The New School,where he teaches courses in urban food systems and environmental studies, including cross-disciplinary courses that connect the fields of policy, urban planning, design, and urban studies. Dr. Cohen’s current research focuses on the development of urban food policy. He has a PhD in Urban Planning from Rutgers University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Berkeley, and a BA from Cornell.

2 thoughts on “Does Fixing Food Deserts Help Fix Obesity?

  1. Thank you for highlighting the many important efforts happening to increase access to fresh, affordable food across the country. Dr. Cohen has been out to Seattle to learn more about these efforts and we’re grateful for his support and attention to these issues. One point of clarification, Stockbox Grocers is a pilot project that uses shipping containers as small capacity storefronts in neighborhoods with grocery gaps. While their project has generated a lot of press for a very innovative idea, it is not the same as the many “cornerstore” retail programs it was compared to in your story. The Seattle healthy retail program is called “Healthy Foods Here” and has provided assistance to dozens of food retailers in King County, including Stockbox Grocers, to increase their capacity to sell fresh, healthy food in low-income neighborhoods. Thank you for your interest in this work and for raising the profile of the food systems work happening across the country.
    Tammy Morales
    Principal, Urban Food Link
    (Technical Assistance Provider to Healthy Foods Here)

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