Resolution in Support of Access to Healthy Food

WHEREAS, in 2013, 66 percent of North Carolina adults were considered overweight or obese[i] and 31.4 percent of children were considered overweight or obese;[ii] and

WHEREAS, overweight children and adults are at greater risk for numerous adverse health consequences, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain cancers, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and other debilitating diseases;[iii] and

WHEREAS, excess weight has been estimated to cost North Carolina $17.6 billion each year in medical costs and lost employee productivity;[iv] and

WHEREAS, a continued increase in childhood obesity will cause the current generation of children to be the first generation in American history to have a shorter lifespan than their parents[v] and obese children are at least twice as likely as non-obese children to become obese adults;[vi] and

WHEREAS, living closer to healthy food retail outlets is associated with better eating habits and decreased risk for obesity and diet-related diseases;[vii] and

WHEREAS, a food desert is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a low-income census tract in which at least 33 percent or a minimum of 500 people live more than a mile from a supermarket or grocery store in urban areas, or 10 miles from a supermarket or grocery store in rural areas;[viii] and

WHEREAS, North Carolina has at least 349 food deserts across 80 counties, impacting over 1.5 million of North Carolina residents;[ix] and

WHEREAS, research has shown that the most common barrier to eating fruits and vegetables is their cost and the most common way to break down the barrier is access to affordable locally grown fruits and vegetables;[x] and

WHEREAS, increasing the availability and consumption of locally produced fruits and vegetables can improve health outcomes, as well as improve the economic well-being of North Carolina’s rural communities, create jobs, and provide increased opportunities for farmers;[xi] and

WHEREAS, new and improved healthy food retail outlets in underserved communities creates jobs and helps to revitalize low income neighborhoods;[xii] and

WHEREAS, Healthy Food Financing Initiatives in other states and communities have shown to have local economic benefits by creating jobs;[xiii]

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the undersigned endorses promoting the creation and implementation of healthy food retail outlets in low and middle income communities, through state funded programs such as Healthy Small Food Retailer Initiatives and/or Healthy Food Financing Initiatives, both of which will stimulate economic activity and contribute to improved health outcomes.

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Updated June 2015

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[i] “Prevelance and Trends: North Carolina Overweight and Obesity (BMI).” Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. Web. Available at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss/display.aspcat=OB&yr=2013&qkey=8261&state=NC.

[ii] “National Survey of Children’s Health (2011–12).” Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2012. Web. Available at http://childhealthdata.org/browse/survey/results?q=2462&r=35.

[iii] “What are the Risks of Overweight and Obesity?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2012. Web. Available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/risks.

[iv] “Tipping the Scales: The high cost of unhealthy behavior in North Carolina.” Be Active North Carolina. 2012. Web. Available at http://www.forprevention.org/prevention/Document/Download?id=34e9eb7c-236b-4b74-915b-7513f733bd91.

[v] The Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act of 2004. United States Senate. (2004).

[vi] Serdula MK, et al. “Do Obese Children Become Obese Adults? A Review of the Literature.” Preventive Medicine 22(2): 167–177 (1993).

[vii] Bell, J., et al. “Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters: A Review of the Research.” Policy Link and the Food Trust. 2013. Available at http://www.policylink.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lkIXLbMNJrE&b=5136581&ct=13399931.

[viii] “Definition of a Food Desert.” Economic Research Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/dataFiles/Food_Access_Research_Atlas/Download_the_Data/Archived_Version/archived_documentation.pdf.

[ix] “Healthy Food Resources in North Carolina.” The Support Center. Jan. 2014. Web. Available at http://thesupportcenter-nc.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/HF-Resource-Guide-1.14.pdf.

[x] Leone, Lucia A., et al. “Attitudes Toward Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Farmers’ Market Usage Among Low-Income North Carolinians.” Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 7:1, 64-76 (2012).

[xi] Curtis, Jennifer, et al. “From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy.” Center for Environmental Farming Systems. 2010.

[xii] “The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access To Healthy Food And Why It Matters.” Policy Link and The Food Trust. 2010. Available at http://www.policylink.org/atf/cf/%7B97C6D565-BB43-406D-A6D5-ECA3BBF35AF0%7D/FINALGroceryGap.pdf.

[xiii] “The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access To Healthy Food And Why It Matters.” Policy Link and The Food Trust. 2010. Available at http://www.policylink.org/atf/cf/%7B97C6D565-BB43-406D-A6D5-ECA3BBF35AF0%7D/FINALGroceryGap.pdf.

rob@idriveroi.comResolution in Support of Access to Healthy Food