by Diana L. Gallagher MS, RN, CWOCN, CFCN
Last month, the news shared two important stories that were closely linked. Walmart announced the closing of 102 Walmart Express stores as part of their overall restructuring and statistical analyses revealed the states with the highest levels of obesity. These two stories prompted discussions about food deserts and their tie to obesity.
Food deserts are identified as areas without easy access to healthy food choices. They have been thought to be a contributing factor for obesity and the cascade of comorbidities that are tied to it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have funded Prevention Research Centers (PRC) in an attempt to ensure healthy food options in neighborhood markets. The lack of readily available fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein options is problematic in some communities. The existing research, however, is not clear and more research is needed.