Monday, May 05, 2008

As fast-food outlets open and supermarkets close, obesity and diabetes increase in rural America

Small towns all over rural America have been gaining fast-food restaurants and losing supermarkets for many years. That is probably contributing to obesity and diabetes in rural areas, suggests a study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

The study examined the correlation between the health of nearly 40,000 Californians and the mix of retail food outlets near their homes. For rural areas, "near" was within five miles. The study "shows clearly that you are at a higher risk for obesity and diabetes if fast food and convenience stores dramatically outnumber grocery stores and produce markets in your neighborhood," says a press release from PolicyLink, a social-justice organization.

For a PDF of the study report, click here.

1 comment:

Mike said...

The results of the study are sad, but true. A few months ago, I completed Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma, and was shocked to learn how unhealthy the majority of our mainstream food is. Its a must read for anyone interested in this subject.

I appreciated that this study made some recommendations in addition to their criticism. Wouldn't it be great if our community leaders worked as hard at helping develop healthy food system in or rural communities as hard as they work at attracting Walmarts and other big boxes. I think it would be a perfect match for my community (www.opportunityhoward.com)