Healthy grocery initiative failing to produce intended results, says study

(NBC) Government programs aimed at improving access to healthy foods in low-income areas have failed to change dietary habits and obesity rates, according to a study led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Penn State University.

Researchers found these initiatives have increased the number of supermarkets in urban areas to give people a chance to buy fresh foods. 

However, a four-year study of one low income area in Philadelphia found just half of people who lived close by used the new stores.  The study reported only about 27 percent of people shopped at the new fresh food stores regularly.

Researchers say the supermarket also had no impact on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption or reducing obesity.  They say these new stores need to be combined with price promotions and branding to encourage healthy shopping.

The study is published in "Health Affairs."

Courtesy: NBC News Channel