Columbia's food desert status may have little affect on health

1 year 4 months 1 week ago September 14, 2015 Sep 14, 2015 Monday, September 14 2015 Monday, September 14, 2015 7:35:00 AM CDT in News
By: Megan Kelly, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Food deserts do not have as much of an effect on obesity rates, according to a recent study by the Center for Disease Control.

In this month's issue of "Preventing Chronic Disease," researchers studied food deserts and having access to healthy food options. They found simply having access to healthy food did not mean there was an increase in people consuming healthier foods or having a lower body mass index.

Instead, having a lower body mass index depended on a person's choices in the grocery store. 

Parts of downtown Columbia are considered to be a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Columbia resident JoAnn Shull said her family had adapted a whole foods lifestyle. Her 15-month-old son has never had processed foods.

"When we first started figuring out what we wanted to feed our son, my husband and I really did a re-education of what to look for and what was actually considered healthy and real food," Shull said.

In 2013, obesity rates in Missouri were above 30 percent, according to the CDC. 

Nutritionist Jessica Coad said obesity is a problem for people in mid-Missouri. She says her patients struggle with making healthy food choices as well as affording healthy food. 

"I feel like people just need to take more time. If they can't afford it, they just need to take more time looking. It's easier for people to purchase frozen food and fast food," Coad said.

Lucky's store director Andy Weis said his store offers aggressive advertisements, especially for their produce, to make healthy food more affordable.

"I think if people really want to find a healthy alternative, they'll find that store and they'll find ways to get there," Weis said.  

The USDA defines a food desert as:

  • "To qualify as a ‘low-income community,' a census tract must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher."
  • "To qualify as a ‘low-access community,' at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract's population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles)."

Schull said she thinks Columbia has done a better job of creating healthier food options within the last couple years. She said Columbia could do more in terms of educating people on healthier food choices. 

"I think individuals need to make it a priority to learn. I think grocery stores need to make it easier for people to buy healthy foods...and I think the government has to do a better job of making sure food labels are accurate," Shull said.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Ameren Missouri's coal-fired power plant near St. Louis violates the... More >>
6 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:14:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge is calling for a review of the way courts hold people... More >>
10 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:10:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, proposed legislation Wednesday that would completely ban abortions in Missouri. According... More >>
18 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:02:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A court testimony reveals that a drug debt to a St. Louis entrepreneur and his associates... More >>
59 minutes ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 10:21:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis County man who hit himself in the head with frying pans has died after... More >>
1 hour ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:45:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say officers shot and killed one man and wounded another after a police chase in... More >>
1 hour ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:22:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — All seven members of a St. Louis family are hospitalized in critical condition after a house... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:20:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives searching for a missing woman have found the decomposed body of man in a Kansas... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:19:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a 24-year-old Kansas City man has pleaded guilty in the shooting death of his... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:16:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A man has been sentenced to five years of probation for his drunken role in a suburban... More >>
2 hours ago January 24, 2017 Jan 24, 2017 Tuesday, January 24 2017 Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:12:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it arrested two armed robbery suspects Monday. Detectives said they arrested 26-year-old... More >>
12 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 10:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has made an arrest in connection to a shooting in north Columbia Monday evening,... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 8:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University show sedentary... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he'd rather be... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:15:01 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new Republican secretary of state has been defending his decision to appoint a securities industry... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:08:05 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation regarding the safety of Missouri law enforcement officers and first responders continues to be a hot... More >>
17 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 5:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. The... More >>
18 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
12pm 46°
1pm 48°
2pm 50°
3pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld