Research into restaurants near lower-income neighborhoods

Results show these locations serve fewer healthy meals

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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Being unhealthy might not just be about the choices you make.  New research published in the American Journal of Health Behavior found that it has a lot to do with your options-and people in lower-income areas don't have many healthy options.

The study compared housing development neighborhoods to other neighborhoods with a little more income. About 75 percent of the entrees offered at restaurants near the housing development contained too many fats and calories and not enough fruits and vegetables.

The research also found there were more fast food restaurants in lower-income neighborhoods.

Kansas State University Kinesiology professor Katie Heinrich, who helped conduct the research, says this shows where you live plays a role in your health.

"There's the thought that people are unhealthy because they make poor choices and that can definitely be true, but there is a huge influence of the environments that we're in and if we don't set up the environments to afford people the majority of choices could be potentially healthy, it becomes way more likely that people are going to make an unhealthy choice," explained Heinrich.

Although the study found there was a difference in the types of restaurants in each neighborhood, there was no difference in how those restaurants marketed their food.

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