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Would convenient access to affordable fresh produce improve eating habits?
Date:11/4/2010

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Drop that doughnut. In a study called "Good to Go," funded by a nearly $3.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, health researchers at Brown University will test whether setting up a low-priced, fresh produce market within workplaces will motivate higher employee fruit and vegetable consumption.

"There have been no other studies like this," said Kim Gans, research professor of community health at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and interim director of the Institute for Community Health Promotion. "We're reducing prices and bringing it to people where they work, year-round."

Gans knows that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of several types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. A major focus of public health research is to determine the best ways to help people heed that advice. Good to Go is one of four studies now underway by Gans to learn about what might motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables.

"There are many people who know they should eat more fruits and vegetables but can't seem to do whatever it takes to make it happen for a variety of reasons, including convenience, habit, taste, cost, availability, family likes and dislikes, cultural norms," she said. "Meanwhile, there are other people out there who just don't know about the benefits. Through advertising, we get hit over the head with other good-tasting, cheap, easy-to-find foods that are not very healthy for us."

In Good to Go, Gans will take away at least three excuses: cost, convenience, and ignorance. In parallel she's also doing that on the streets of Providence with a program called "Fresh to You," where her team has set up weekly low-priced fresh produce markets in a variety of community locations including an outdoor market in downtown Providence.

Efforts such as these might be what's needed to reverse consumption habits
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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