Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If You Build It . . .

The USDA has declared Hudson a "food desert," which it defines as "a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store." The assumption of the USDA study that identified food deserts throughout the United States was that people in low-income communities don't have healthy diets because they don't have ready access to healthy and affordable food, and the objective was to make healthy and affordable available to everyone. 

A recent study, however, suggests that just having healthy food available and affordable to people in low-income neighborhoods is not enough to improve their diets. Conducted by the Nutrition Transition Program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the study tracked thousands of people in several large cities for fifteen years and discovered that people who had supermarkets available in their neighborhoods didn't eat more fruits and vegetables. Read more about the study in this article from the Los Angeles Times"Access to grocers doesn't improve diets, study finds."   


  1. Only a government or an ivory-tower institution would need to conduct a study to determine that making proper nutritional choices in a market saturated with advertising for fast-food and other poor nutritional options requires education. Stunning. As Peter Pehrson -- who is leading the charge on Hudson's own co-op market -- has maintained all along, we need to educate shoppers about the health benefits of eating properly as well as the health risks of eating a poor diet.

  2. Getting some healthy food into the deli's would be a good start. People used to going to them are not necessarily going to go to a food co-op even if there is one available. Right now your choices there are very limited, fruit candies instead of fruit, the closest thing to a vegetable is a can of beans.

  3. I'm sure they still have plenty of "Reagan vegetables" -- you know, ketchup, relish and potato chips.