Childhood Obesity

The Lempert Report
May 18, 2022

Phil: Sally, what's the latest move to fight childhood obesity and how it's focused on the supermarket?

Sally: Well, this is a really great study. That's come out of the NYU Grossman school of medicine and what the researchers did was they picked eight stores that had recently been renovated. There are city grants that are available to help these stores with these renovations. And so they picked, picked these stores that were also within a half mile of a school. And they, um, looked at the difference over seven years of this new store being there or renovated store and how it affected childhood obesity rates. And they found that the obesity rates dropped. There was a decline by 1%, which doesn't sound like a lot. But when you think of that, in terms of applying that to the 14 million children in America that are obese and you add other policy changes, it could make a huge difference. 

Phil: Absolutely. And even if you look at Jeff Brown and his ShopRite stores in Philadelphia, you know, same kind of situation where when they build these new stores, full size supermarkets, not little bodegas or dollar size stores, but full service, full size supermarkets, the community gets healthier. They have more accessibility to fresh foods. They're not overpay for them. This is terrific. And also Jeff Brown and his wife ,actually help other supermarkets around the country, get those grants as they did from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the federal government to do this. So, you know, there's no question that the combination of a supermarket, the retail dietitian, everything can really change child obesity a lot better than a lot of these other schemes that people keep on talking about.  

Sally: I just said I was agreeing and I hope that they will find more funding for some of these stores to make these renovations

Phil: Yeah, I agree. I agree, that's the key to it, not putting more dollar stores and more overpriced stores in these markets.