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United States has over 13.5 million people living more than a mile from the supermarket. I aim at critiquing a literature review completed by Menefee Daja on the effects that the grocery stores and social capital have on obesity rates for people in rural food deserts. This critique will determine how the literature review relates with the research problem, the theoretical framework, how the literature was synthesized, and the organization of the literature review. When analyzing this literature review, I will consider structuring my critique in different headings including the research question, theoretical foundation, relevance of literature, synthesis of the literature, recommendation, and conclusion.

Research question

The research question in the dissertation is to determine the extent that grocery stores and social capital mediate health issues in rural food deserts in national level and also Kansas-Nebraska region. The research problem relates to the literature review in the aspect that the health issue that is now common in the grocery industry is obesity. The research question was to determine the impact of grocery stores on health issues and the literatures used in the study have been able to focus on health issues mostly in regards to obesity and how the grocery industry is affecting the health of people in US (Menefee 2011). When using rural food deserts, the literature review has been able to indicate how staying in a food desert area tends to have an impact on negative health. Therefore, people in rural food desert areas are in high risk of being obese. This is an indication that the literature review has been able to explain the impact that the grocery industry has on obesity.

Theoretical foundation

The theoretical approach that has been used in this research tends to affect the topic of discussion on how it is understood and the way the research problem has been approached. Explanatory model has been used in the review to indicate how grocery stores affect the health of individuals in different areas. This model is effective in the study as it has been able to indicate how retail stores located in different areas affect the health of people by comparing both rural and urban areas and their access to food. According to the literature review, the different research conducted by different researchers have used the model in proving that grocery industries such as supermarkets tend to promote healthy and nutritious diet because of the availability of different food products. Thus, grocery industry such as supermarkets and supercenters has a positive impact in avoiding obesity among Americans.

Relevance of literature

According to Hakim (2012), a literature review is considered as an analysis of existing research that is relevant to the research problem or question. In the literature done by Menefee, the research question was to determine the extent that grocery stores and social capital mediate health issues in rural food deserts. All researches used in the literature review tend to relate to the research question on what has already been done on the subject. With the literature review, the researcher has been able to find out what has been done about the study and this enables the researcher to answer the research question by focusing on what other researchers have not yet researched. The literature review has indicated how the grocery stores are affecting various people in regards to their health; therefore, it makes it possible for the researcher to be able to focus on previous research, to answer the impact of grocery stores on health issues by putting more attention on obesity.

Synthesis of literature

The literature review was synthesized clearly because the different sources used were combined clearly and summarized appropriately so that to connect with the research problem. The sources were broken down into important points so that to ensure that the essential points were included in the analysis. Important statistics regarding the topic were included to ensure that then researcher had all the information needed so that to understand how the prevalent the problem was in the community. Much of the literature claim that the grocery stores in rural food desert usually led to an increase in obesity in that place. However, the rate of obesity is reduced in places that have large retail groceries because there is sufficient availability of food products that people can select.


A discussion of the literature was clear and easy to understand and to sum up the entire review, it can be stated that there is an association between living in a food desert area and increased negative health effects (Menefee 2011). The discussion has provided clear comparison of different factors that may affect the health of an individual as associated with the grocery industry.


This dissertation has been extremely useful in my research in the fact that it provides a clear display of how to compare research done by many researchers and the way to summarize the information so that to include only relevant data. In conclusion, it is clear that the large grocery stores have a positive impact in decreasing obesity rate in the society.


Menefee, D (2011). Mediating effects of social capital and grocery stores on obesity rates in rural food deserts Kansas State University

Hakim, C (2012). Research design Routledge

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