Thursday, October 15, 2009

Street Corners Markets —Drugs, Gangs, and Obesity!

We all know the dangers of drugs and gangs facing our children at the nearest street corners. But what most parents don't realize is that corner market may also be endangering the health our children. Leading obesity researchers across the nation consider "food environment" a major contributing factor of the obesity epidemic. A recent research study at Temple University in Philadelphia found that adolescents are consuming large quantities of calories through snacks purchased from their local corner market. More than 50 percent of the kids from this study said they shopped at corner stores once a day, five days a week. Nearly 30 percent visited the stores twice a day -- before and after school. For the full articles on the study:

In most urban to suburban areas, corner markets or convenience stores are abundant making them very accessible for youth while walking to and from school. For little over a dollar an adolescent can choose from an assortment of snacks, but few are aware of the possible 350 calorie price tag. What can be done? The following are suggestions to change present patterns and possibly slow growing obesity rates.

In The Home:

  • Being a healthy role model.
  • Pack snack from home.
  • Teach adolescents to read nutritional facts labels.
  • Serve them a healthy choice food before going to school.
  • Promote healthier choices like milk, water, and fruits and vegetables.

In The Community:

  • Endorse school's wellness policy at home.
  • Support healthy alternatives for school activities.
  • Promote healthy snacks for intramural sport leagues.
  • Request healthier options at the local market.
  • Contract other interested parents to get involved.

There is no magic to prevent obesity. But through developing healthy lifestyle goals for family and community partners, we can set a new direction. Start with small changes to yield long term results to improve the quantity and quality of children's food intake and to build new habits and lower the obesity risk. For more on healthy choices check out

1 comment:

Fran said...

Hi Kathy,
This is a great topic! Thanks for posting this information that raises awareness of a unhealthy behavior that may not be acknowledged.