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Market Makeover montage

 

THERE IS NO SINGLE, QUICK FIX FOR THE FOOD DESERT.

A market makeover (a.k.a. “corner store conversion”) aims to increase healthy food access in areas designated as food deserts by transforming an existing local store (a.k.a. “liquor store,” “mini-mart” or “bodega”) so that it offers fresh produce and a healthier inventory to its customers. Here at marketmakeovers.org, we also see the process as a significant opportunity for civic engagement and community building. It’s not glamorous work, but it ultimately strives to benefit the community-at-large.

 

WHY DO WE NEED MARKET MAKEOVERS?

Overweight + obesity have become the greatest threats to our health.

  • Where we live determines our eating and physical activity habits.
  • When neighborhood stores only carry junk food, chances are that’s what we’ll eat.
  • Research has shown that we’re more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they’re available at our local store.
  • We’re also less likely to walk or play when our neighborhood’s streets and parks feel unsafe.

No wonder we’re suffering from higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and certain cancers - all diseases linked to obesity and overweight. In order for the healthy choice to be the easy choice, we have to advocate for better public policies and business practices that improve our nutrition and physical activity environments.

Many obesity prevention interventions in the past have focused on changing individual behavior, without adequately addressing the need for systemic environmental change. In low-income regions of the United States, including many inner city areas and rural regions, healthy options are commonly hard to find. The dramatic increase in obesity over the past two decades is related to an environment burdened with inexpensive, high-calorie convenience foods and super-sized portions, as well as a marked decrease in physical activity.  

Market makeovers are one strategy that aims to prevent obesity by working directly with community residents, community organizations and market owners to offer fresh, good quality fruits and vegetables to consumers consistently and reliably.

Check out MMTV for more details!