Food environment assessment tool (Feat)

The Food environment assessment tool (Feat) is a public health resource developed by CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.

Feat uses data visualisation methods to allow user-friendly, detailed exploration of the geography of food retail access in England. Feat is underpinned by a growing body of scientific evidence that the food we can access in our neighbourhoods is closely related to which foods we buy and eat, and whether we maintain a balanced diet and healthy body weight.

Access Feat:

What does Feat do?

Feat allows for the interactive mapping, measuring, and monitoring of regional and neighbourhood access to a range of food outlet types, across the whole of England, including changes over time.

Who is Feat for?

Feat is currently free, for use by anyone. We only ask that you acknowledge its use (see FAQs tab at

As a public health tool, Feat was designed primarily around the needs of professionals in public health, environmental health and planning roles throughout English local authorities, and in local and national public health roles.

How might Feat be used to improve the public’s health?

  • Decision-support. Generate local evidence for use in the development of Obesity Strategies, Local and Neighbourhood Plans, JSNAs and Strategic Planning Documents. Use to bring evidence to planning decisions and appeals.
  • Drawing comparisons. Compare how food access differs across a city, or between local authorities. See which neighbourhoods are changing fastest.
  • Targeting of intervention. For example, use Feat to direct behavioural interventions into neighbourhoods with challenging food retail environments.
  • Evaluation of interventions. Test the effectiveness of neighbourhood planning policies, before and after intervention. Document unintended intervention consequences.

Who created Feat?
Feat was created by researchers and research support staff from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) – – and MRC Epidemiology Unit – – at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Contact the Feat team
Check out the About, How to use and FAQs tabs [LINKS] for more information about Feat. If you would like to contact the Feat development team directly, email We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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DISCLAIMER: Feat is based on data that has been demonstrated to be some of the best publicly available in England. However, the Feat development team cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies.