Promoting Nutrition Security in Diverse Low-Income Communities: Methods to Comprehensively Assess Food Access

Placeholder Show Content


It is well understood that what we eat is intimately connected with our health. Traditional health promotion strategies rely heavily on individual behavioral interventions, but not all individuals have equitable access to the nutritious foods needed to live a healthy and disease-free life. Moreover, quantifying and addressing food access is difficult because of the multitude of complex factors involved. In response to this challenge, this study evaluates how a mixed multi-method approach of characterizing the food environment 1) addresses the conceptual definitions of food access; and 2) identifies assets and areas for community activation to increase access to nutritious foods. In particular, a food environment map using geographic information systems (GIS) will be discussed as a method to assess food access surrounding four independently owned mid-sized grocers and corner stores in San Jose, California. The GIS food environment map in this study is a supplemental piece of a larger project with the Our Voice initiative and The Food Trust which utilizes citizen science to promote nutrition security in the community. The map revealed a high prevalence of food outlets with processed food options as compared to food outlets with fresh produce options. It also revealed there were numerous opportunities to obtain food that were not acknowledged by the USDA Food Access Research Atlas. An accurate understanding of food access in the local environment, inclusive of community member insights, essential for developing and implementing solutions (interventions, policies, programs) to promote nutrition security in a community.


Type of resource text
Publication date October 18, 2022; August 2022


Author Pangalangan, Julia


Subject Nutrition
Subject Food security
Subject Nutrition security
Subject Community-engaged
Subject Geographic information systems
Subject Citizen science
Genre Text
Genre Thesis

Bibliographic information

Access conditions

Use and reproduction
User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY).

Preferred citation

Preferred citation
Pangalangan, J. (2022). Promoting Nutrition Security in Diverse Low-Income Communities: Methods to Comprehensively Assess Food Access. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at


Community Health and Prevention Research (CHPR) Master of Science Theses

View other items in this collection in SearchWorks

Contact information

Also listed in

Loading usage metrics...