Examining local food deserts using visual analytics
Authors: Henry Washington, Steven Jiang, Lauren Davis, Hyung Nam Kim
Abstract: Food insecurity, an economic and social condition where households have limited access to nutritious food, is a long-standing and growing problem in both the rural and urban areas of the United States. Food deserts refer to areas that do not have adequate food access to affordable and nutritious food. Food deserts can be characterized by availability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and acceptability (5A’s). This research investigates food deserts in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, which includes the city of Charlotte. The food insecure population estimate in Mecklenburg County is about 15% which is higher than the national average of 11%. Using visual analytics, a combination of analytics and human factors, this study aims to examine how age, education, and income are related to food deserts in Mecklenburg County. Data gathered from US Census Bureau was used for analysis. Results indicated that education and food desert status, and age and food desert status in Mecklenburg County were related.
Keywords: Food Insecurity, Food Desert, Visual Analytics
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