Improving Healthy Food Access & Awareness
WHY: The neighborhoods that have the lowest access to healthy foods are also those that have the highest rates of obesity and diet-related disease and lowest rates of fruit and vegetable consumption.
In 2008, the Going to Market Study was conducted for the Mayor’s Food Policy Task Force by the New York City Departments of Health and City Planning and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. It found that more than 3,000,000 New Yorkers lived in neighborhoods that were underserved by grocery stores and other fresh food retail.
Learn about the Going to Market Study
HOW: New York City has employed multiple strategies aimed at addressing these disparities and improving our overall food environment, including: improving healthy retail access, promoting a healthy diet, nutrition education, and healthy food procurement and vending.
Improving Healthy Retail Access
New York City has implemented programs across all areas of food retail to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods. Example programs:
Promoting a Healthy Diet
In addition, New York City has pioneered a number of health initiatives, such as the trans-fats ban and calorie labeling requirements, which are aimed at changing the social and physical environment around food. Example programs and campaigns:
Whether at our farmers markets, through our Citywide school gardens initiative Grow to Learn, public health campaigns, or programs for children, New York City is committed to helping inform New Yorkers about how to make positive choices for their diet and health. Example programs:
Healthy Food Procurement & Vending
New York City was the first major city in the country to set nutrition standards for all foods purchased or served by the City. The standards apply to the approximately 270 million snacks and meals per year that are served in places such as schools, senior centers, homeless shelters, child care centers, after school programs, correctional facilities, public hospitals and parks. The standards require City agencies to serve only healthier beverages such as skim or 1 percent milk (with exceptions for babies), phase out deep frying, include two servings of fruits and vegetables in every lunch and dinner, lower salt content and increase the amount of fiber in meals.