December 2017

New study finds a new supermarket improves health, food security and economic status

Overview

NEW! Study finds a new supermarket improves health, food security and economic status

Can the Introduction of a Full-Service Supermarket in a Food Desert Improve Residents’ Economic Status and Health?

Richardson et al. Annals of Epidemiology, Dec 2017; DOI 10.1016/j.annepidem.2017.10.011.

Abstract link: http://www.annalsofepidemiology.org/article/S1047-2797(17)30293-4/abstract

The community that received a new supermarket experienced less food insecurity, fewer new cases of high cholesterol and arthritis, and lower SNAP participation over time when compared to a similar community that did not receive a supermarket. The supermarket community also saw trends of increasing resident incomes and fewer new cases of diabetes. Both study communities are predominantly African-American (95%) and low-income, which are groups most affected by health disparities. While economic gains can be associated with gentrification, researchers found that less than 1% of the supermarket study community moved away from the neighborhood. Therefore local residents enrolled in the study were not pushed out by improvements. This study provides strong evidence that introducing a new supermarket in a previously underserved community brings health and economic gains for local residents.