The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters
Sarah Treuhaft, PolicyLink
Allison Karpyn, The Food Trust
Available online PDF [44P.] at:
“…..Inequitable access to healthy food is a major contributor to health disparities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adult obesity rates are 51 percent higher for African Americans than whites, and 21 percent higher for Latinos.. ….”
An apple a day?
“…..For millions of Americans—especially people living in low-income communities of color— finding a fresh apple is not so easy. Full-service grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other vendors that sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods cannot be found in their neighborhoods.
What can be found, often in great abundance, are convenience stores and fast food restaurants that mainly sell cheap, high-fat, high-sugar, processed foods and offer few healthy options.
Without access to healthy foods, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach. And without grocery stores and other fresh food retailers, communities are missing the commercial hubs that make neighborhoods livable, and help local economies thrive.For decades, community activists have organized around the lack of access to healthy foods as an economic, health, and social justice issue. As concerns grow over healthcare and the country’s worsening obesity epidemic, “food deserts” — areas where there is little or no access to healthy and affordable food—have catapulted to the forefront of public policy discussions.
Policymakers at the local, state, and national level have begun recognizing the role that access to healthy food plays in promoting healthy local economies, healthy neighborhoods, and healthy people.
This report, a summary of our current knowledge about food deserts and their impacts on communities, provides evidence to inform this policymaking.
To assess the current evidence base in this dynamic and fast-growing field of research, we compiled the most comprehensive bibliography to date of studies examining food access and its implications conducted in the
This bibliography incorporates a total of 132 studies: Sixty-one published in peer reviewed journals and primarily conducted by university-based researchers and 71 conducted by practitioners or policy researchers, sometimes in collaboration with academic researchers, and self-published (also known as “grey literature”).
The studies include three nationwide analyses of food store availability and neighborhood, city, county, regional, statewide, and multistate analyses covering 22 states across the country….”
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