Searching for healthy food

The Food Landscape in California Cities and Counties
Study Documents

FACT SHEETS

County Fact Sheets

City Fact Sheets

Policy Brief
A summary of the study, findings, and policy recommendations.

Detailed Methodology

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.

FINDINGS. The study found that in 2005 for California as a whole there were more than four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as supermarkets and produce vendors, yielding a statewide Retail Food Environment Index of 4.18. The RFEI varied substantially among counties and cities with populations greater than 250,000. Two counties (San Bernardino and Sacramento), and two cities (Bakersfield and Fresno), had nearly six times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as supermarkets and produce vendors. For a summary of the RFEIs for all counties and cities with populations greater than 250,000, click here.

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.

Some of the media coverage of Searching for Healthy Food is listed below:
Sacramento Bee*
Modesto Bee
Bakersfield Californian
Los Angeles Times
Marin Independent Journal
San Bernardino Sun*
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Fresno Bee*
Stockton Record
San Jose Mercury News
Oakland Tribune*
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
* indicates front page coverage

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Support for this project was provided by a grant from the California Vitamin Cases Consumer Settlement Fund.