Survey Of San Diego County Stores Shows Food Placement Matters
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Aired 3/6/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Dana Stevens, Executive Director for Communities Against Substance Abuse
Chelsea Fiss, Champions for Change, UC San Diego
You can talk to your kids about eating right and making healthy choices but what do they actually see in San Diego food stores? A new survey finds that stores from supermarkets to mom-and-pop spots tend to put unhealthy foods and drinks in the forefront, and fruits and vegetables mostly out of sight.
The American Heart Association and Lung Association surveyed nearly 300 stores in San Diego County as part of a statewide effort to determine the availability and marketing of tobacco, alcohol and healthy, as well as unhealthy food products.
Some of their findings are alarming with almost 9 out of 10 retailers sell mini-bottles of alcohol in fruity flavors such as peach and watermelon, that appeal to customers who are not yet of the legal age to drink. Most stores also sell flavored tobacco products, with nearly 4 out of 10 retailers placing them near the candy.
Health advocates say this is especially troubling because many communities rely on the corner market store for all their grocery needs putting them at risk for obesity and developing unhealthy addictions.