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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Healthy Eating Gets No Boost After Corner Store Interventions, Drexel Study Finds

A lack of access to healthy food is often blamed for poor eating habits in low-income urban areas, but a recent Drexel University study found that simply adding healthier stock to a local convenience store may not actually have any effect.

By upgrading local corner stores in East Los Angeles through adding fresh fruits and vegetables, improved shelving, training and social media marketing, a team of researchers led by Dr. Alex Ortegaprofessor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, poured more resources into a healthy eating intervention than are usually available — and very little seemed to change.

“Given the financial and technical support that we were able to provide to stores, it is quite disheartening that we saw no real changes in food purchasing or diet at the community level,” said Ortega, who also serves as the chair of the school’s department of health management and policy. “This does not bode well for interventions that are able to provide fewer resources to stores.”