LBPR: Farmers Markets Improving Health in Low-Income Communities

The Library of Best Practices Research (LBPR) was created while I worked at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. This is designed to be a tool for grant-writers. Each of the LBPR documents supports a grant application for a particular program and theory of change. The original version of this document can be found on DSNI's GitHub page.

My summary text (the material in bold) is available for you to use in any way you like. The quoted text should be cited appropriately.

If you have suggestions for future topics that should be included in the LBPR, please let me know!

Evidence in Support of Farmers Markets in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the major factors increasing disease burden

“In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2-7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5-7·0]), and alcohol use (5·5% [5·0-5·9]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8-9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 7·0% [5·6-8·3]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4-6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2-10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium.”

(Lim et al., 2012)

Many Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables

Nationally, less than “18% of adults in each state consumed the recommended amount of fruit and [less than] 14% consumed the recommended amount of vegetables.

(Letetia V. Moore & Frances E. Thompson, 2015)

African-Americans consume less fruits and vegetables than whites

Blacks consumed less fruits and vegetables than whites (4.6 and 5.2 servings/d, respectively).

(Johnson, Taylor, & Hampl, 2000)

People in low-income neighborhoods consume less fruits and vegetables than people in higher-income neighborhoods

[Neighborhood socio-economic status] exhibited a positive and statistically significant association with fruit and vegetable intake even after controlling for individual characteristics.

(Dubowitz et al., 2008)

Fruits and vegetables are more accessible in predominantly white and higher-SES neighborhoods

As the wealth of the neighborhoods decreases, the proportion of black residents increases, with over 8 times as many black Americans living in the lowest-wealth neighborhoods compared to the highest-wealth areas. Furthermore, the proportion of households without a car or truck available is also higher among black Americans, regardless of wealth…. The types of food stores and food service places that exist in poor and wealthy neighborhoods are different. For instance, there are over 3 times as many supermarkets in the wealthier neighborhoods compared to the lowest-wealth areas.

(Morland, Wing, Roux, & Poole, 2002)

When prices are lower, people eat more fruits and vegetables

For young adults, ”A $1 increase in the price of fruit and vegetables was associated with a 32% reduction in weekly consumption.”

(Lisa M. Powell, Zhenxiang Zhao, & Youfa Wang, 2009)

Bringing a farmers market to an urban community has been demonstrated to reduce perceived barriers to eating more fruits and vegetables

"Smaller percentages of participants in the post survey reported the high cost, and limited freshness and variety of [fruits and vegetables] as barriers "

(Nurgul Fitzgerald & William K Hallman, 2011)

And increase consumption of fruits and vegetables

"Usage of farmers’ markets as well as consumption of F&V increased after the introduction of the farm stands."

"Using farm stands as a strategy to increase access to healthful foods is a viable strategy to increase consumption of F&V."

(Evans et al., 2012)

Bonus resource

Use of Nutritional Assistance (SNAP) in Farmers Markets:

Dubowitz, T., Heron, M., Bird, C. E., Lurie, N., Finch, B. K., Basurto-Dávila, R., … Escarce, J. J. (2008). Neighborhood socioeconomic status and fruit and vegetable intake among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans in the United States. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87(6), 1883–91. Retrieved from Evans, A. E., Jennings, R., Smiley, A. W., Medina, J. L., Sharma, S. V, Rutledge, R., … Hoelscher, D. M. (2012). Introduction of farm stands in low-income communities increases fruit and vegetable among community residents. Food and Nutrition Service Office of Policy Support. (2014). Nutrition assistance in farmers markets: Understanding the shopping patterns of SNAP participants final report. Washington, DC. United States Department of Agriculture. Johnson, C. S., Taylor, C. A., & Hampl, J. S. (2000). More Americans are eating “5 a day” but intakes of dark green and cruciferous vegetables remain low. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(12), 3063–3067. Retrieved from Letetia V. Moore, & Frances E. Thompson. (2015). Adults meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations — United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(26). Retrieved from Lim, S. S., Vos, T., Flaxman, A. D., Danaei, G., Shibuya, K., Adair-Rohani, H., … Rose, G. (2012). A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet (London, England), 380(9859), 2224–60. Lisa M. Powell, Zhenxiang Zhao, & Youfa Wang. (2009). Food prices and fruit and vegetable consumption among young American adults. Health and Place, 15(4), 1064–1070. Morland, K., Wing, S., Roux, A. D., & Poole, C. (2002). Neighborhood characteristics associated with the location of food stores and food service places. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 22(1). Nurgul Fitzgerald, & William K Hallman. (2011). Effectiveness of a farmers market intervention to improve the food access and intake in an urban setting. The FASEB Journal, 25(1). Retrieved from

#health #nutrition #income #urban #farm #farmersmarket

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