Access to Healthy Foods

> See IPA Health Policy Brief 3: Access to Healthy Foods in the Built Environment (PDF).

photo of a farmers' market in Kent Co.Introduction

Having access to healthy foods is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A 2010 White House Task Force on Child Obesity report found an association between food insecurity and obesity.  The report recommends a comprehensive approach to mobilize public- and private-sector resources to help all Americans make healthier food choices.

To establish a healthy diet, health professionals recommend the consumption of a variety of portion-controlled, natural food, which includes fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and high-protein vegetables and meat. Nutritious eating and physical activity can provide individuals with proper nutrition and energy, the maintenance of optimal weight, and a lower risk of disease—including high blood pressure, cancer, and type-2 diabetes.  The following are ways that local governments can help promote greater access to healthy foods:

> See rationale for access to healthy foods.

photo of urban garden courtesy of Delaware Center for Horticulture