OBESITY GETS YOU WHERE YOU LIVE, UH STUDY
Lack of Fresh Produce in Lower-Income Neighborhoods
Contributes to Weight, Health Problems
HOUSTON, Nov. 29, 2004—Obesity is likely to affect individuals
in low-income areas where fresh fruits and vegetables may not be
as plentiful, according to a new University of Houston study.
The finding is suggested in a study on the availability and quality
of produce in high-income versus low-income urban neighborhoods.
“Obesity disproportionately burdens low-income, ethnic minority
populations,” said Rebecca E. Lee, assistant professor of
health and human performance and lead researcher on the study. “The
results suggest that these populations have less access to healthy
The study found that people living in low-income, urban neighborhoods
had access to at least one convenience store and a liquor store
that sold convenience foods, but very few supermarkets or grocery
stores. The produce that was available to these neighborhoods included
few fresh fruits and hardly any vegetables. In contrast, the high-income
urban neighborhoods studied were more likely to have access to supermarkets
and grocery stores and the quality and quantity of produce available
was higher than those found in low-income neighborhoods.
The study was presented in a Las Vegas conference for the North
American Association for the Study of Obesity and the American Diabetes
Lee's research incorporates environmental and individual determinants
of physical activity, dietary habits and obesity prevention in ethnic
minority and underserved populations. Her work combines theory and
techniques drawn from behavioral medicine, community psychology,
geography, policy science, social ecology and social marketing.
About the UH College of Education
The UH College of Education works to shape and staff educational
systems that are responsive to our rapidly changing society. The
college prepares teachers, counselors, psychologists, school and
higher education administrators and professionals for a variety
of educational settings, including work in social agencies, medical
facilities, businesses, and government posts. The college offers
students both a broad range of innovative programs and the opportunity
to learn about recent developments in educational practice and thought.
For more information on the UH College of Education, visit www.coe.uh.edu
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
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