Study: You Can Lead Someone to Whole Foods, But You Can't Make Them Eat

July 11, 2011

The idea of food deserts contributing to the eating habits of low-income Americans makes sense on its face. And it's true, a new study confirms, that people living in low-income neighborhoods with limited access to healthy fruits and veggies do eat more fast food. But the opposite doesn't appear to be true. People who live near and have easy access to supermarkets eat just as much fast food. The report was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"It's not enough to say we will build it [supermarkets] and people will come," said lead researcher Penny Gordon-Larsen, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health in Chapel Hill.

The findings suggest access to healthy foods won't be enogh to stem the tide of American obesity. Additonal outreach and education are necessary to help people make good choices, at fast food restaurants and famers markets alike. 



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