New UCLA Study: Many California Teens Living in “Junk Food Wastelands”

Photo Credit: Image from "California Watch," courtesy of Christian Cable/Flickr.

On Wednesday the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that for nearly 75 percent of California adolescents, the number of local junk food retailers outnumber healthy ones at least 5 to 1. The findings were revealed just a week after the California FreshWorks Fund announced $200 million to support grocery stores and other healthy food retailers in low-income, underserved communities across the state.

PolicyLink Associate Director Rebecca Flournoy spoke with California Watch‘s Joanna Lin about the study, the FreshWorks initiative, and the importance of improving healthy food access for youth:

A higher percentage of 12- to 17-year olds were not overweight or obese in Nevada and Humboldt counties (about 96 percent) than in Sutter and Sacramento counties (90.3 percent and 91.5 percent, respectively), according to the 2007 California Health Interview Survey.

Such findings do not surprise food policy advocates like Rebecca Flournoy, associate director of the nonprofit PolicyLink.

“This really confirms that yet again, when you look at adolescents and where they live and where they go to school, that access to food really does matter,” she said.

Go here to read California Watch‘s full report on the UCLA study, and be sure to also check out the new PolicyLink  “Healthy Food, Healthy Communities” report fresh off the presses!



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