Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Grigoris Argeros, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Orrange, Ph.D.


The neighborhood retail food environment is an indicator of short- and long-term health conditions. Disparities in Covid-19 health outcomes have been identified as specifically impacting minority populations in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, MI. This study explores these cities' neighborhood retail food environments alongside neighborhood racial composition with three measures: Modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI), Grocery Store Density, and Fast-Food Density. This study's purpose is to determine whether racial composition predicts the food environment and therefore may contribute to poor health outcomes. The results indicate that high Asian population has a significant relationship to healthier food environments while high Black population is related to low neighborhood fast-food density. Generally, neighborhoods with a high Black population show worse food environment characteristics, while a high Asian population was linked to healthier food environments. Moving forward, further research is needed on this subject to determine the extent to which these findings influence Covid-19 health outcomes.

Included in

Sociology Commons