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Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division

Systems and Environmental Change - Nutrition​

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Nutrition plays an important role in the prevention of chronic diseases, and changing the food people eat has been defined as "one of the major modifiable determinants of chronic diseases." However, our current food system and environment do not encourage people to eat healthy. California Center for Public Health Advocacy’s 2007 study found that California has more than four times as many fast-food restaurants and convenience stores as grocery stores and produce vendors. It has been demonstrated that access to high-calorie, low nutrition foods and convenience stores increases the risk of being overweight and obese. Obesity prevalence is highest for California adults who have high Retail Food Environment Indexes (RFEIs), which is the ratio of fast food-restaurants and convenience stores relative to grocery stores and produce vendors near their homes. Here are some ideas for interventions to change the food environments and make it easier for people to make healthier eating choices.

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