Healthy food rarely convenient for urban minorities

Oct. 16, 2013, Medical Xpress

By Valerie Debenedette

Despite the prevalence of corner and convenience stores in urban neighborhoods, many residents have to travel farther to find supermarkets that offer a wide variety of healthful food choices, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study also found that supermarkets in lower income areas and with more people on public assistance had significantly less variety and offered fewer healthier foods.

A 30-block area of west and southwest Philadelphia was selected for study by the researchers. Residents were 75 percent black, 15 percent white, 6 percent Asian, and 1 percent Hispanic, with 28 percent of households living in poverty, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Continue reading

A healthy neighborhood can lower the obesity level of its residents

June 7, 2013, Red Orbit

Neighborhoods that include restaurants and businesses that support healthy eating choices can make a “measurable” difference in the battle against obesity, according to a new study led by researchers at the Drexel University School of Public Health.

Dr. Amy Auchincloss, an assistant professor at the Philadelphia-based institution, and her colleagues conducted a five-year study analyzing the impact that a neighborhood could have on an individual’s health.

They found that “significantly” fewer people became obese when they lived within a mile of healthier food environments compared to those without access to such places. Previous studies have demonstrated that healthier, less-obese men and women are more likely to live in neighborhoods that had access to supermarkets and fresh foods, and to a lesser extent, in neighborhoods that are walkable. Continue reading