Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Make Communities Healthier with Healthy Stores

 A study from California by ChangeLabSolutions showed that of 7,393 surveyed stores, a staggering percentage of those that sell tobacco products are located near schools and in low-income communities. More stores sell alcohol than fresh fruits or vegetables. Fifty-eight percent offer sugary drinks at or near the checkout, while 39 percent place tobacco products near candy. In many stores, flavored cigarillos are cheaper than a pack of gum.

There are model ordinances, pilot programs and other strategies currently being employed to improve the quality and availability of healthy food in smaller neighborhood stores.

Because local stores help shape a neighborhoods’ economic vitality, quality, and safety, these survey results will provide further encouragement for positive changes in the retail environment, therefore enriching community health.  They are results for a study in California but there is much that is also applicable in Colorado.  For the complete study, go to Data ; for more information about activity in Colorado to improve the quality of foods in small retail stores, contact Andrea Wagner at

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