Published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, What Your Neighborhood Says about Your Health acknowledges the link between health and livable neighborhoods. Researchers utilizing a GIS find that increased accessibility to food outlets and opportunities to be more physically active have greater impacts on a community’s health, and promotes livability.
People with lower income tend to opt for inexpensive foods offered by vendors at a low cost: such foods are high in fats and increase the chance of obesity. Coincidentally, an effort to establish supermarkets offering quality food services is a challenge to local governments because of lack of consumer demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 25 million people are living in these so-called food deserts, without access to quality food provisions. In response to this, communities are establishing farmers markets, offering fresh products at a reduced cost, and promoting walkable communities by implementing smart growth plans reflective of the relationship between livable neighborhoods and quality of life.
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