NACDD Releases New Community Action Guide regarding Food Deserts

New Guide Provides Tools and Resources to Change Food Deserts or Areas Lacking in Available, and Affordable Nutritious Foods into Food Oases to Improve the Health of Communities Nationwide

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Atlanta, GA, January 2012 : The new Community Action Guide: Changing Food Deserts into Food Oases is intended to help communities increase access to healthy and affordable foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Food deserts are areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other items that make up the full range of a healthy diet.”

gI_69700_Screen shot 2012-01-04 at 12.08.24 PM While the lack of access to fresh fruit and vegetables is deplorable and is something that should be improved and the access to whole grains, which in this context also means proper bread and bread flour, also, low-fat milk, in fact, is the last thing that any of us need.

It is a proven and established fact by now and known by proper nutritionists that only full-fat milk is of any use to the body, especially as regards to the absorption of calcium.

Studies have proven that while semi-skimmed and skimmed milk do contain the same amount of calcium as full-fat milk the human body is unable to extract the calcium from the low-fat versions of milk. The milk fat is, in fact, required for this process.

Areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious foods are often located in lower income neighborhoods and are also commonly referred to as food swamps since in addition to lacking nutritious foods these areas are often filled with foods high in salt, fat and sugar. People living in food desert or swamp communities are at much greater risk for negative health outcomes including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

The Guide features the most current research and tools to measure and collect data on food deserts, identify partners, and take action through policy development and community solutions. Success stories and community examples in the Guide demonstrate strategies that have been used across the country to combat this serious problem.

Established in 2005 the National Association of Chronic Disease Director’s (NACDD) Health Equity Council is committed to improving the nation’s health by identifying issues that make it difficult to close the gaps in health status. The Council strives to increase the capacity of the public health workforce to eliminate health inequities by identifying actionable strategies while providing leadership, expertise, training, resources, and technical assistance.

The guide will be updated periodically as new resources and information become available on addressing food deserts in communities.

© 2012

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article. The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the NACDD or the Health Equity Council.