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Eating in America Still Unhealthy: CDC
Date:9/29/2009

food system support.

Food stores that stock a variety of high-quality fruits and vegetables can play a key role in residents' health, the report notes. But only eight states have a policy for healthier food retail improvements that can increase the number of full-service grocery stores in areas where they're lacking, increase the availability of healthier foods in small food stores, and promote healthier foods by providing information to consumers in food stores.

Schools can influence better eating by students, staff, parents and other members of the community. But the report found that only 21 percent of U.S. middle schools and high schools offer fruits and non-fried vegetables in vending machines, school stores or snack bars. Fewer than half the states (21) have policies to support farm-to-school programs that can increase access to fruits and vegetables and teach students about nutrition and agriculture.

The report also mentioned food policy councils, which are organizations that look at access to fresh produce at the community and state levels. Food policy councils make recommendations about policies and programs such as community gardens, farmers' markets, availability of fresh produce in supermarkets and farm-to-school programs. Currently, 59 local food policy councils operate across the United States, and 20 states have a state-level food policy council.

"We have seen the tremendous benefit of state and local officials, health professionals, employers, food store owners, farmers, school staff, and community members working together on food and nutrition issues," CDC epidemiologist Heidi Michels Blanck said in the news release. "Their efforts can help to increase the availability of affordable healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables."

More information

Here's where you can learn more about Healthy People 2010.


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