Improving Access to Healthy Food

Infographic listing five reasons to improve access to healthy food: First, it diminishes instances and impacts of chronic diseases. Second, it reduces healthcare costs. Third, it reduces inequity within communities. Fourth, it strengthens productivity, safety, and economic development. Fifth, it fosters a sense of community by supporting community programs.Having access to healthy foods is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For decades, millions of Americans—especially those living in low-income communities—have suffered as grocery stores with fresh, affordable food have disappeared from their neighborhoods. Without access to healthy foods, a nutritious diet and good health are unattainable. And without grocery stores and other fresh-food retailers, communities are missing the commercial centers that help local economies thrive.

Access to Healthy Food in Delaware

The increasingly alarming rates of obesity and related chronic diseases that may be linked to poor diets, such as diabetes and heart disease, have become a major public health concern in the United States and in Delaware. According to the 2018 State of Obesity Report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Delaware’s adult obesity rate of 31.8 percent ranks as the 23rd highest obesity rate across the country. Delaware has the 6th highest obesity rate among children between the ages of 10 and 17. Health problems associated with obesity are also prevalent across Delaware. For example, Delaware has the 14th and 11th highest rates of diabetes and hypertension respectively.

A community food environment that promotes cheap, easily accessible unhealthy food through high levels of unhealthy food retailers increases the risk for obesity and other health conditions associated with poor nutrition. Likewise, lack of access to affordable, healthy food increases the risk for these conditions. Research also shows that access to affordable, healthy food promotes better nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Nutritious eating and physical activity can provide individuals with proper nutrition and energy, the maintenance of optimal weight, and a lower risk of disease—including high blood pressure, cancer, and type-2 diabetes.

Everything You Need to Know about Access to Healthy Food

Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments

An image of the cover for the Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Delaware Local Governments publication. The cover includes a collage of people shopping for and growing healthy food at various locations in Delaware.This in-depth, downloadable guide provides the reader with a thorough understanding of food access problems and innovative policy and program solutions. Most research into local level food access policies focuses on large jurisdictions such as big cities or densely populated counties. Looking through the lens of Delaware local governments, this guide brings together research-based best practices for improving food access and adapts them to make them accessible for Delaware local governments whose size, structure, and resources vary in comparison to the large jurisdictions at the center of most healthy food access research. In addition to acting as a practical tool for Delaware local governments, the tools in this guide are versatile resources that can help community organizations and local governments in other states use planning, policies, and programming to improve access to healthy food in their communities.

Access to Healthy Food in Delaware Spark Page

Access to Healthy Food in Delaware: Support Through Local-Level Policy InitiativesUsing the visually engaging format of a Spark Page, this tool highlights how local governments can improve access to healthy food through comprehensive plans and community design, policies and regulatory tools, and local partnerships. With a focus on practical implementation, this Spark Page is an especially useful resource for those looking to identify the next steps to improving food access in their community.

Infographic Gallery

Screenshot of the webpage of the access to healthy food infographic gallery. Eye catching and informative, infographics can compliment presentations and publications or serve independently as promotional material for policies and programs. Each of these infographics breaks down important access to healthy food topics into key points with visuals that make the information more understandable and memorable. Visit the Access to Healthy Food Infographic Gallery to find all the food access infographics in one place. Feel free to share and use these infographics to help your community provide for accessible and affordable healthy food.

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