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Access to food improves

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2012 - Autumn

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Healthier foods are more available in neighborhood stores in underserved communities since revisions in 2009 to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), according to a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in June.

The researchers assessed the variety, quality, and prices of WIC-approved foods in 252 convenience stores and non-chain grocery stores in Connecticut before and after the revisions. Access to whole-grain products and fresh produce improved, particularly in low-income communities.

“If the experience in Connecticut is typical of other states,” said lead author Tatiana Andreyeva, Ph.D., the center’s director of economic initiatives, “national food policy programs that promote consumption of healthy foods but also require changes in stores can help to improve local food environments.”