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The recent emphasis in public health and medicine on the environmental determinants of chronic illness has created the need for a more comprehensive way to assess barriers and facilitators of healthy living. This paper reports on the approach taken by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded project whose goal is to reduce disparities in diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Los Angeles' African American communities. Findings from this community-based participatory research project suggest that while location is an important variable in evaluating nutritional and physical activity resources, quality and price considerations are at least as useful. We argue that every community or neighborhood is located within a resource environment for medical care, recreation, food, and other health-promoting or health-compromising goods and services that affect the lives and health of its residents.