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Production and consumption of quality fruits and vegetables allows us to maintain a healthy, balanced daily diet. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food accessibility as the access by individuals to adequate food resources to sustain a nutritious diet.
Declining communities and the closing of local business limits access to food retailers and healthy food options. Nutrition education and food accessibility are associated with health problems. Healthy People 2020 encourages the promotion of healthy diets to maintain healthy body weights and reduce risk of chronic diseases associated with nutrition and weight status. The Mecklenburg County Health Department's (MCHD) Office of Policy and Prevention focuses on the prevention of chronic disease, which emerged as the top priority in the Health Department's most recent
Community Health Assessment. This may be achieved by educating, developing and promoting food accessibility in various socio-economic demographics. A healthy diet consists of consuming food from each food group (dairy, fruits, grains, meat, vegetables and fats. Increasing the access to low cost healthy foods will support healthier lifestyles and reduce susceptibility to food priority areas.
Food accessibility does not lead to food security. There is a need for food security now in the United States. Food security exists when there is physical and economic access to nutritious and safe foods at all times for all people.
In efforts to decrease obesity and encourage nutritious eating, nutritional initiatives are being developed by the MCHD Office of Policy and Prevention.
For more information, contact Elliott Royal at 980-314-9145 or
contact us online.