A system dynamics approach to examining household food insecurity
Keywords:Food Security, System Dynamics, Urban Food Systems, Participatory Modeling
Household food security is influenced by the socio-political environment, resource access, and experiential factors, but the systemic interactions of these drivers are rarely considered in the same study. In collaboration with stakeholders, we built a system dynamics model to examine the drivers of food insecurity in Detroit and how community-led interventions could promote food security. We found that single interventions were not as effective as multiple interventions in combination, due to the complex limits on a households’ ability to purchase healthy foods. The iterative modeling process allowed stakeholders to jointly understand and generate insights into the cross-scale limits that households must navigate in order to achieve food security. Furthermore, our modeling effort demonstrates how time is a fundamental resource stock that limits the efficacy of behavioral and structural interventions.
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