FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 052-15
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Christopher Miller/Carolina Rodríguez:
(347) 396-4177, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop Healthy NYC aims to increase access to healthier foods and beverages in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious foods
The South Bronx expansion has the potential to impact nearly 38,000 new Bronx residents
Since the initial 2012 launch of Shop Healthy NYC, 670 stores in the neighborhoods of West Farms, Fordham, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Longwood and East Tremont have increased access to healthier food and beverage options
November 19, 2015 – The Health Department today announced the expansion of Shop Healthy NYC to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx . Shop Healthy NYC is a program that works with communities to increase access to healthier foods in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious food and beverage options. Over the past three years, Shop Healthy NYC has successfully increased promotion and access to healthier food options in the Bronx neighborhoods of West Farms, Fordham, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Longwood and East Tremont by working with residents, community organizations, food retailers, suppliers and distributors. Today, the program will expand to the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods in the South Bronx, potentially impacting nearly 38,000 new residents.
“Most people are interested in eating right for better health, but if it is difficult to find places in the neighborhood that offer healthier food options we should not be surprised that residents in some communities cannot reach the same level of health as other communities with more resources,” said Dr. Jane Bedell, Assistant Commissioner of the Bronx District Public Health Office . “We are excited about Shop Healthy NYC ’ s expansion to the Claremont-Morrisania section of the Bronx. South Bronx residents want healthier food options. By increasing access to fresh fruits and produce, we give residents more opportunities to lead healthier lifestyles.”
“Shop Healthy NYC is a great reflection of a strengths-based approach to better health. This program pulls together our local resources to continue the expansion of healthy, affordable foods to our borough's residents, many of whom may not typically have access to such options. Health is a top priority for our office, and the Shop Healthy NYC initiative reflects our goals for a healthier Bronx," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Díaz Jr.
"The communities I represent in East Harlem & the South Bronx suffer from some of the worst health disparities anywhere. While many factors contribute to these disparities, lack of neighborhood access to healthy foods is a major contributing factor,” said New York State Senator José Serrano. “Through the efforts of Shop Healthy NYC and the New York City Department of Health, we are encouraging local markets to take a more proactive approach in addressing health disparities caused by unhealthy eating. I applaud all the local shops and bodegas taking the bold step toward better neighborhood health by providing and promoting healthy food choices in their stores."
Shop Healthy NYC aims to increase access to healthier food and beverage options in neighborhoods with high rates of diet-related chronic disease. According to the Health Department’s recently released Bronx Community Health Profiles, the Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods have the highest obesity rate in New York City at 35 percent compared to 9 percent in Manhattan’s Financial District. Diabetes is twice as common among New Yorkers who are obese and both conditions disproportionally affect low-income communities where there is less access to healthy food options. The Claremont and Morrisania neighborhoods have one of the highest rates of diabetes of the City at 16 percent which is higher than the citywide rate and five times the rate of Manhattan’s Financial District.
Shop Healthy NYC helps to improve a neighborhood’s food environment by encouraging sustainable changes throughout the local food supply chain. Food suppliers and distributors are encouraged to offer and promote healthy food and beverage options to their customers. The Health Department provides guidance to food retailers on how to identify healthy foods; helping stores to stock and promote these items through healthy food marketing tools like shelf talkers, decals and free-standing point-of-sale baskets for fresh produce.
Community groups and residents get to buy in to the Shop Healthy NYC program by supporting changes in their local stores such as helping to promote participating establishments, using funding allocated for food to make purchases at Shop Healthy NYC locations or by participating in “Adopt-a-Shop” activities by working in partnership with stores to both implement and sustain healthy changes.
Since its initial launch in June 2012 in the West Farms and Fordham neighborhoods of the Bronx, Shop Healthy NYC has engaged 670 stores in promoting healthier food options. Of the participating stores, 310 accepted the retail challenge to prioritize the stocking and display of healthier food products, while minimizing the promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages. Since the launch of Shop Healthy NYC in the Bronx, 95 stores in the borough have met all seven criteria of the program, which include:
For more information about Shop Healthy NYC, call (212) 996-8674 or visit nyc.gov/shophealthy