by Hannah McCartney
Rural areas could benefit from improved corner stores
A report conducted by researchers at East Carolina University in North Carolina, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sheds some interesting light on patterns in the availability of healthy food in different geographic regions and concludes that amping up corner stores that traditionally peddle junk food could be key in improving public health and national obesity rates. The study focused heavily on the availability of healthy foods such as fresh produce in corner stores across the state in urban, suburban and rural areas. The findings suggest that there are higher rates of obesity in rural areas of the United States than in urban or suburban areas, speculating that because rural residents tend to live farther from supermarkets, they may rely more on junk food from corner stores (like gas stations) or fast food. Where rural areas did have healthy food available, it tended to be of lower quality than other more populated areas. People aren’t averse to healthy foods, according to the study. When researchers surveyed shoppers and management at rural corner stores, they found a dichotomy in the perception of demand for healthy foods between the two groups. Store managers said they’d be interested in stocking healthy foods, but didn’t think there was a high enough demand to do so; shoppers told researchers they’d be likely to buy produce at a corner store and attributed the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets to the lack of accessibility at the stores they frequented. Obesity as a result of poor access to healthy food is not just a rural phenomenon, however. Some urban neighborhoods, particularly those that are low-income, also suffer from alarmingly high obesity rates. Avondale, which is considered a “food desert” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has long been dealing with a severe obesity problem, according to Avondale Community Council President Patricia Milton. CityBeat reported on Cincinnati’s efforts to eliminate food deserts and improve selections at corner stores here. Obesity is a detrimental public health problem that costs the U.S. approximately $190 billion per year in health care expenses, according to a report from the Harvard School of Public Health. It’s directly associated with harmful health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and overall reductions in life spans. According to the Harvard researchers, if obesity trends continue, obesity-related medical costs could rise by up to $66 billion by 2030. University of Cincinnati professor Michael Widener told CityBeat in June about his research to analyze the way a number of different economic and social factors play into eating habits in different geographical regions, which could eventually help paint a better picture of how to establish strong and healthy networks of groceries and possibly improve obesity rates and public health. The Center for Closing the Health Gap (CCHG), a local nonprofit working toward health equality, is currently working on identifying grocery stores which may be eligible to receive incentivizing funds from the Cincinnati Fresh Food Retail Financing Fund, which could bring grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods such as Avondale. CCHG is also working on the pilot phases of its Healthy Corner Store Initiative, which could provide corner store owners with the education and technical assistance to start selling more healthful foods. To find out if where you're living qualifies as a "food desert," click here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
This happens to me like clockwork around
the start of summer, when the weekend air is pregnant with the fumes of
grills and charred hamburgers. You don’t really want it, I tell myself;
sometimes I’ll even linger in front of the meat displays at Findlay
Market, a stomach-twister on command: no, no, no.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Farmers markets with fresh produce and local goodness abound for every day of the week, each market with its own distinct neighborhood flavor.
Chilled summer treats from across the Tristate
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Looking for the best places to indulge
this summer? Try out any of these local frozen treat shops for a hearty
dip into the many innovative chilled foods Cincinnati has to offer.
In honor of Father's Day, CityBeat staffers get lesssons about the art of grilling from their pops
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
secret is, don’t ask them what they want or how they want it. Just cook
it and give it to them. But make them wait for it — plan to have it
ready about 45 minutes to an hour later than expected and they will
enjoy it much more.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Greek yogurt production — a $2 billion industry that
continues to grow — produces acid whey runoff unlike normal yogurt
production that is killing mass aquatic life by sucking the oxygen out
of streams and rivers. WORLD -2
by German Lopez
Public safety layoffs reduced, state unemployment drops, county agency wins award
Council members Roxanne Qualls and Chris Seelbach proposed a motion
yesterday that would reduce the amount of police layoffs to 25 and
eliminate all firefighter layoffs previously proposed in budget plans
for fiscal year 2014. The huge layoff reduction comes despite months of
warning from the city administration that the city would have to carry
out big public safety layoffs without the parking plan, which is currently stalled in court.
But it’s come with large cuts and shifted priorities in other areas of
the budget, such as reduced funding to parks, health, human services, parades
and outside agencies. (For example, the Health Department warned that cuts to its
services could lead to more rats and bedbugs.) The motion from Qualls and Seelbach came just in time for last night’s public hearing, which mostly focused on the cuts to parks and public safety.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.0 percent
in April, down from 7.1 percent the month before, thanks to increases
in the amount of people employed and decreases in the amount of people
unemployed. The gains coincided with decent job growth throughout the rest of
the nation in April, which dropped nationwide unemployment from 7.6 percent
to 7.5 percent. But the state gains were fairly
mixed, and the amount of construction, professional and business services and federal
and local government jobs actually dropped. The mixed, slow growth helps
explain why conservative and liberal think tanks seemingly disagree with Gov. John Kasich that Ohio is undergoing an “economic miracle.”
The Hamilton County Public Health’s (HCPH) food protection program is apparently the best in the United States and Canada.
The Conference for Food Protection awarded the program the 2013 Samuel
J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award, which “recognizes unsurpassed
achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to
communities,” according to a statement from HCPH.
Homophobic Boy Scouts supporters are rallying nationwide today to support the continuation of the Boy Scouts’ homophobic rules.The Taste of Cincinnati and the the Cubs-Reds series may have helped downtown Cincinnati earn the No. 42 spot in Priceline.com’s top 50 Memorial Day destinations.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed
Ohio has been undergoing a boom in oil and gas production in the past
two years thanks to developments in a drilling process known as
fracking, which CityBeat previously covered in further detail here.Duke Energy hired a new contractor — Southern Cross Co. — to carry out gas and line inspections.
Cincinnati-based Kroger developed a new system that will convert food that can’t be sold or donated into clean energy to power one of its distribution centers.
Convergys is selling is downtown Cincinnati headquarters as the company goes through big changes. So far the buyer is unknown.
Jim Kingsbury, CEO of UC Health since 2010, is retiring.
Using an optical illusion to make white people look darker can diminish racial biases, according to a new study.
Earth’s super-dense core is weak.
Damn good bloody marys, mimosas and beyond
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Regardless of whether or not you have
a hangover (or you just start your Sunday morning drinkin’ real early)
you can experience the best of both brunch worlds — i.e. alcohol and
edibles — at these distinctive local eateries.
Hyde Park’s wood-fired eatery offers casual, inventive dining
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 5, 2013
more than two months old, M uses its freshly-imported European oven as a
centerpiece for its casual dining concept, with nearly everything but
the desserts spending some bit of time basking in blissfully blistering
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Food deserts are a big problem for many
of Hamilton County’s impoverished families, but University of Cincinnati
professor Michael Widener is heading research that looks into how
mobility can alter perceptions about neighborhoods that lack access to