Published: June 2011

ID #: 63049

Journal: Public Health Nutr

Authors: Tester JM, Yen IH, Pallis LC, Laraia BA

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This paper examines the range of food outlets around lower- and higher-income urban schools and compares the availability of healthy food items in those stores. It also examines whether stores accepting vouchers for WIC, a federal program for improving health and nutrition of lower-income mothers and their children, have more healthy items available than stores that do not accept WIC vouchers. Researchers found that students attending lower-income schools were exposed to more food outlets near those schools, which were stocked with fewer healthy foods than stores near higher-income schools. However, there were more food stores near lower-income schools that accepted WIC vouchers, which was associated with availability of healthy food items. The authors conclude that federal programs such as WIC may help increase availability of healthy foods in lower-income areas.

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