FOOD ENVIRONMENT INDEX

Food environment index, an index of equally-weighted factors that contribute to a healthy food environment, including limited access to healthy foods and food insecurity. The Food Environment Index ranges from 0 (worst) to 10 (best) and equally weights two indicators of the food environment.

The measure of the food environment accounts for both proximity to healthy foods and income. This measure includes access to healthy foods by considering the distance an individual lives from a grocery store or supermarket, locations for health food purchases in most communities, and the inability to access healthy food because of cost barriers.

There is strong evidence that food deserts are correlated with high prevalence of overweight, obesity, and premature death as supermarkets traditionally provide healthier options than convenience stores or smaller grocery stores.[56-59] Additionally, those with low income may face barriers to accessing a consistent source of healthy food. Lacking consistent access to food is related to negative health outcomes such as weight gain, premature mortality, asthma, and activity limitations, as well as increased health care costs.[38,60-63]

Community Focus Areas:
  • Expanding existing gardens and identifying new locations (with a specific focus on food deserts) for access to fresh fruits and vegetables by utilizing existing food networks and other community partners

  • Establishing a local food council that will serve to centralize local stakeholders committed to our local food landscape and to coordinate local efforts and new initiatives.

  • Establishing and utilizing School Health Advisory Committees at each local school to support the education and implementation of health initiatives designed for all area students

  • Supporting and connecting the grants awarded to numerous community efforts to increase access and selection of healthy foods

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
www.countyhealthrankings.org

Note: Data is measured annually.

Date of Report Vs. Date of Data

Robert Wood Johnson annual reports reflect data from previous year(s) for certain measures.  See chart below.