Saturday, May 28, 2011

Healthy Food Retailing

The abandoned Paragon Food Center on Old Rural Hall Road, Winston-Salem
Existing data suggests that healthy food retailing is not uniformly present throughout the county. The lack of grocery stores, markets and produce stores is particularly evident in the eastern part of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Neighborhoods affected include urban areas with a high concentration of minorities and high-household poverty along with rural neighborhoods. Fast food outlets and convenience stores appear to be the most prevalent form of food retailing in the eastern portion of Winston-Salem.

The lack of healthy food retailing can negatively impact eating choices since a growing body of evidence suggests that individuals usually make choices in the context of what is available in their communities and neighborhoods. Studies done in many communities found that residents with greater access to supermarkets or a greater abundance of healthy food in neighborhood stores consume more healthy food and have lower rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health problems. An additional issue is that grocery items typically cost more in inner city areas than other neighborhoods.

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