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Problems with access to healthy foods among residents of Washington

February 8, 2017 14:22

08/02/2017 15:22

Problems with access to healthy foodEasy access to supermarkets is associated with a healthy diet and a low risk of obesityamong area residents. Researchers from the Washington State Department of Health investigated the power supply in the state of Washington, as well as the impact of access and proximity to supermarkets to health. They came to the conclusion that effective measures are needed to increase access to healthy food.

The work aims to reduce and eliminate "food deserts" (areas with poor access to healthy food). Experts estimated the number of residents with limited access to healthy food (physical access to retail products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, soy products, nonfat milk, and other healthy foods).

Easy access to retail outlets is defined as a 0.5 mile walk or 5 minutes in urban areas and 0.5 mile walk or 10 minutes in rural areas. One mile walk for urban and rural residents, 10 minutes for urban residents and 20 minutes for the villagers considered as a reasonably available to retail outlets. With these designations, researchers compared people with low incomes and dense concentrations of population outside the range of retail outlets.

The indicator for the urban area of ​​Washington State - 10 minutes drive to the retail outlets. Almost all settlements the average time was 20 minutes, - says the author Dennis McDermott. - We found that the lack of transportation can be a serious barrier to access to healthy food for residents with low

Although several places in Washington state can be characterized as a food desert, even for those who have a car, in 6% of the population with low income do not have reasonable access to supermarkets (in 78% of cases is caused by a lack of personal transport). Since the provision of easy access is not possible, the researchers suggest the expansion of service delivery to your home, to increase access to healthy foods among residents of low-income.

Scientists propose to the state and local organizations to establish ways to evaluate access to food, reflecting local priorities, geography and designations neighborhood. Future research will be directed to such important factors as cost, convenience, quality and range of shops.

The Source:  https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-lack-limits-healthy-food-access.html

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