Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Corner Stores Stock Healthier Foods After Aid Program Changes

Corner Stores Stock Healthier Foods After Aid Program Changes

03/20/12

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Small stores in two low-income areas of North Philadelphia began stocking healthier foods after changes to a popular U.S. government food-aid program, a new study finds.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC program) is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of lower-income pregnant women and new mothers, as well as infants and children up to 5 years old. Under the changes introduced in 2009, the program started giving participants vouchers to pay for fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread, and tofu. Other changes included a switch from whole-fat to reduced-fat milk.

According to the study, the change prompted the corner and convenience stores in the neighborhoods to carry vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, reduced-fat milk and other healthy food products.

The researchers also found that the changes to the program increased the availability of nutritious foods without increased cost to families or the government.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

"Changes in the WIC food package helped increase access to healthy foods in two impoverished neighborhoods," lead author Amy Hillier, of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a foundation news release. "Even small corner stores started stocking fruits and vegetables, lower-fat milk and foods that can help residents stay healthy and reduce their risk of obesity."

The researchers assessed 115 stores in two mostly Hispanic and black North Philadelphia neighborhoods. Full-service chain supermarkets had the highest availability of nutritious foods, but corner and convenience stores enrolled in WIC showed major improvements after the program changes.

Even stores that did not participate in WIC began to stock healthier food items, the study found.

The researchers did not examine whether increased access to nutritious foods actually means people in the neighborhoods have healthier diets.

"We think the people frequenting these stores are eating healthier foods but we would need additional research to confirm that," Hillier said.

More information

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers nutrition advice.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >