Fast Food Restaurants in High Socially Vulnerable Areas - LA County 2020

Published: 4 May 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/bckfwf9df7.1
Colin Kidwell


The purpose of this layer was to show which fast food places are more prevalent than others in extreme socially vulnerable areas of LA County. This layer used data from the US Census and CDC to get areas of Social Vulnerability. It also took a list of fast food restaurants from a resource comparing food deserts in LA County. This layer was made in hopes to be spreading awareness as to what types of foods are accessible and not to people who may not be in as safe a living condition as others, the addition of the Social Vulnerability Index allows to also make analysis as to how the area of high vulnerability has many poor quality but accessible food options. While comparing options some may be more desirable, for example Subway, sneaky things like high sodium or fake tuna can be present in those seemingly innocent foods. LA County is an area very near and dear to my heart. As a former resident of LA County, I saw the affects of social vulnerability throughout my life. Thankfully I was never in danger of these events myself, but having friends that were in tough areas put me in positions to see young people go through real struggle. After experiencing that at such a young age this project allowed for me to reconnect with my area and shed light on something we see all the time. Fast food restaurants dominate downtown Los Angeles. The accessibility to all kinds of socioeconomic groups allows for LA to be a melting pot of demographics, however, for the less fortunate these restaurants are the only option to get any kind of nutrition. Some of the biggest brand names in LA County consist of Subway, McDonalds, Burger King, and more. This data that I've included takes a look at all the fast food restaurants that are within the highly socially vulnerable areas to bring that conversation of accessible healthy food back up. I learned how to make this dataset and layers within my GIS class at Drew University, under the purview of Prof. Lisa Jordan.


Steps to reproduce

This layer was made using the following steps. First gathering the US Census Social Vulnerability Index and the Food Deserts in LA County data layers to be put into the map. Then, selecting by attribute from the SVI selecting just the area of high vulnerability and making that its own layer via Make Layer From Selected Features. After that taking a Pairwise Clip of the Fast Food places as the target features and the new just high SVI layer as the input and execute the clip. Once the clip is done you'll be left with the points of the restaurants with the data of the high vulnerability index. From there I also then deleted the selected layer of just the highly vulnerable areas I had made to make a cleaner visualization and went to the table of the restaurants to make a statistics graph taking overall restaurants and dividing them by chain name so I can see how many restaurants of which chain are in the highly vulnerable areas.


Drew University


Food Analysis, Los Angeles, Vulnerability, Census Data