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Fresh produce

Fresh produce only available to the rich?

Friday, February 24, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: fresh produce, wealthy, food stamps

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(NaturalNews) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produce a publication called Preventing Chronic Disease, and a couple of months ago, they published a study that looked at the availability of fruits and vegetables among low income communities in various racial concentrations in an effort to determine if fresh produce is equally accessible to all communities. The study was coordinated in response to several prior studies that indicated low-income communities that are predominantly African American host higher concentrations of diet-related illnesses.

The study revealed that there is a very distinct difference between various communities and the accessibility of fresh produce and general healthy food options. A sample of twenty fruits and vegetables were examined among facilities that accepted food stamps, and there was a higher concentration of stores in lower income communities that lacked a variety of fruits and did not carry any vegetables.

Accessibility to stores accepting food stamps

The University of Georgia conducted a series of studies to examine the accessibility of stores that accept food stamps among various communities, as well as the food options available at such locations. It was found that the size and types of stores within reach guide people's food choices. This seems like a fairly obvious conclusion. If fresh produce is available, more people are prone to buy it, however when stores do not carry produce, people are not even provided with the healthy options required to combat some of the diet-related illnesses they may be prone to. If fresh fruits and vegetables are not even available within accessible stores, it makes perfect sense that those populations will suffer from diet-related diseases in higher concentration.

The study examined Florida where 2.9 million food stamp recipients reside. Ten percent of the study's subjects relied on food assistance and some counties where the population was predominantly African American and low income did not have even one supermarket.

Grocery shopping at convenience stores

Another study conducted by the University of Georgia where counties throughout Georgia were evaluated for food accessibility based on income levels of the communities indicated that many people in lower income communities predominantly shop for food at convenience stores. This is mainly due to the unavailability of supermarkets or traditional grocery stores in these areas. Furthermore, transportation issues --including the unavailability of bus routes and stores within walking distance -- contributed to this epidemic.

Co-author of the article, Angela Leone, says, "For dietetic professionals such as myself, these studies were eye-opening. We often think there is a lack of nutrition education or nutrition knowledge when in fact there may be other barriers that individuals face that inhibit their ability to follow a healthy diet, such as the nutritional environment that they live in and around."

Sources for this article include:

http://medicalxpress.com

http://www.jneb.org/article/PIIS1499404611004647/abstract

http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2011/nov/10_0231.htm

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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