Retail Diversity for Dietary Diversity (RD4DD)

Subtitle: Preventing nutrition deserts for the urban poor within the transforming food retail environment in Vietnam

Nutrition insecurity among a growing number of urban poor in modernizing Southeast Asian metropolises is a critical issue. Serving to enlarge the capacity of local authorities in planning and implementing all-inclusive food-safe and nutrition-sensitive food retailing infrastructures, our proposed research seeks to answer the question ‘why do the urban poor eat the food they do’, in the context of transformations in the food retail environment and the organization of daily life. We want to understand in what way progressing retail modernization and restructuration policies impact the diet diversity and quality of the urban poor that depend on daily food shopping (purchasing foods on a day-to-day basis) often due to irregular and fluctuating daily income levels due to the nature of employment.

Serving as a case in point for similar developments in SEA, our research focuses on Hanoi, the capital of lower-middle income country (LMIC) Vietnam, listed among the world’s fastest growing economies. Our research specifically focuses on women, since nutrient deficiencies are particularly prevalent among women of reproductive age. Women are often the primary decision maker and mostly responsible for food purchases, meal preparation and household food allocation. They are thus key-actors in understanding and addressing nutrition vulnerability.

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Retail diversity map

An interactive map was developed showing the diversity of food retail in Hanoi, Vietnam. A demo of the map can be viewed here:

Screenshot of the retail diversity map of Hanoi, Vietnam. Click to view the interactive demo map.
Screenshot of the retail diversity map of Hanoi, Vietnam. Click to view the interactive demo map.


This research has been funded by the Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Programs, which is funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and managed by the University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, USA.

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