Food environments: do neighbourhoods matter?

Dr Lukar Thornton1

1Deakin University, Burwood, Australia


Studies investigating associations between the presence of neighbourhood food stores and food behaviours are premised on the assumption that if a feature is available locally, people will use it. However, this assumption does not consider that many people are exposed to multiple contexts on a daily basis; that residents have a different propensity and ability to access features within their neighbourhood; and that the new age of food purchasing via digital technology reduces the need to physically interact with the environment to purchase food. This abstract will present findings from a number of ongoing projects exploring how individuals use neighbourhoods for food purchasing.


Dr Thornton is a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, Australia. His expertise spans the disciplines of health geography, epidemiology and public health. Dr Thornton’s current program of research predominantly explores associations between neighbourhood environments and health behaviours.


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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