In 2006, our firm released Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago, a breakthrough study that identified over 600,000 Chicagoans who live in a Food Desert, a large geographic area with no or distant mainstream grocery stores. The report demonstrated statistically significant relationships between food access and diet-related disease and premature death. Three years later, has the Chicago Food Desert expanded, contracted, or remained stable? Read the report and find out! Also check out our new metric: Years of Potential Life Gain. For example, if a grocery store is developed at 115th Street and Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s Roseland community, it will impact roughly 24,000 people with improved food access scores. Holding other key contributors constant, the community as a whole will likely gain approximately 15 additional years of life back from diabetes, 58 years of life back from diet-related cancers, 112 years of life back from cardiovascular diseases, and 13 years of life back from liver disease. Predicting the level to which new grocery store development would contribute to additional life gained due to the grocer’s presence, rather than life lost due to its absence, as we did in our original report, is only one of several of our new and exciting methodological advances. This report provides all these details, a Foreword written by the Urban Institute’s Peter Tatian, and much, much more.

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