Does living in a 'food desert' raise your risk for diabetes?

When it comes to certain health risks, where you live might indeed play a role.

But not because of factors like pollution, stress or access to medical care. The proximity of your nearest grocery store could raise your chances of developing diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, according to new research.

Health impacts on neighborhoods

The findings come from a study at Indiana University, which examined the health impact of developing a grocery stores in a low-income urban neighborhood in east Indianapolis. The area's nearest grocery stores are two to five miles away, which puts them in what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls a "food desert" – a census tract with low-income residents that have limited access to healthy, affordable food retail outlets.

The research team found that residents of this particular Indianapolis community had higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke than other areas in the county.

"We looked at those particular diagnoses because they are ones that are influenced by eating a healthy diet and being more physically active," said Cynthia Stone, clinical associate professor in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and lead study author.

Residents of the area were also found to have higher hospitalization rates and more emergency room visits than other county residents.

Food deserts

According to the USDA's Economic Research Service, 23.5 million people in the U.S. live in food deserts. In the community being studied, many residents rely on public transportation, often traveling 30 to 45 minutes away to get to the nearest grocery store.

Interviews conducted with the residents, Stone said, revealed that their purchases were likely to change if they had access to a community grocery store. Currently, the area has 11 convenience stores – only two of which sell fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Residents also indicted a need not only for a grocery store but for nutritional education about healthy food, particularly for men who tended to purchase fewer healthy foods than women," a press release on the study stated.

Stone's research was discussed last week at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in Boston.

Source: Indiana University

Get Free Diabetic Supplies

Get free diabetic supplies delivered to your door. You will get a free glucose meter, lancing device, 100 test strips, 100 lancets, control solution and carrying case. Just pay shipping.

More Articles

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

More Articles

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...