Searching for healthy food
The Food Landscape in California Cities and Counties
A summary of the study, findings, and policy recommendations.
OVERVIEW. On January 19, 2007 CCPHA released Searching for Healthy Food: The Food Landscape in California Cities and Counties. The report documented that in 2005, the state had more than four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as supermarkets and produce vendors. Given the increasing evidence that the foods available
in neighborhoods influence what we eat and the likelihood of being obese, CCPHA called on policy makers to take steps to ensure that every California community has a healthy food environment.
THE STUDY. To assess the food landscape (or food environment) in California as a whole and in the most populous cities and counties, CCPHA analyzed data on fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets and produce vendors. Using April 2005 data from the GIS and mapping software firm of ESRI, CCPHA determined the number of each type of retail food outlet for counties and cities with populations greater than 250,000. For the state as a whole and for each of these counties and cities, CCPHA divided the sum of the number of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores by the sum of the number of supermarkets and produce vendors (both produce stores and farmers markets) to develop the Retail Food Environment Index (RFEI) for that area. For summary information, see the Press Release and Press Kit,
an accompanying Policy Brief, and a statement from Governor Schwarzenegger.
Click on the following links for fact sheets for each county and city with population greater than 250,000.
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS. The report calls on federal, state and local policy markers to enact policies that promote a healthy food environment for all Californians. Specifically, CCPHA called on policy makers to enact these specific policies.
Support for this project was provided by a grant from the California Vitamin Cases Consumer Settlement Fund.