Michigan Healthy Food Access Campaign
The grocery list. In many ways, it’s a family’s roadmap for the week. When will we all be home? When will we eat as a family? And, when we eat, what will it be? For many in Michigan, sometimes that last question is the hardest to answer.
Americans living in underserved areas often are unable to make healthy food choices because there are no well-stocked grocery or convenience stores in their neighborhoods. In Michigan alone, we know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 2.1 million residents —nearly a quarter of whom are children—live in communities with limited access to healthy foods. Understandably, these families generally buy and eat what is available, not what’s healthy.
As a result, underserved communities in Michigan – both urban and rural – are often characterized by obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health problems. Working middle class families in rural Michigan can also struggle with these issues because they simply don’t have year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, and other nutritious options at their local stores.
The lack of access to affordable and nutritious food has a negative impact on the health of children and families in our state. Individuals living in communities without access to nutritious foods suffer disproportionately high rates of diet-related health problems.
Michigan’s obesity-related health costs
are expected to continue increasing upwards to
$12,5 BILLION by 2018
- In Michigan, nearly 2 million residents—300,000 of whom are children—live in communities with limited or no access to healthy foods.
- People without access to grocery stores are more likely to be obese. With more than a quarter of Michigan children considered overweight or obese, we are already seeing the negative health impact.
- Currently, Michigan spends $3 billion annually on obesity-related medical costs.
- The Michigan Healthy Food Access Campaign is an innovative partnership of retailers, agricultural leaders, health advocates, and policymakers dedicated to removing barriers to nutritious food access.