Leon County Department of Health assessments study food insecurity

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 14:46:22-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It is National Public Health Week and The Florida Department of Health in Leon county is working to ensure that our community is properly served.

To do so, Leon county DOH is preparing to conduct two Health Impact Assessments.

The assessments will address the effects of rapid development on the Greater Bond Community and the topic of food insecurity within the south side of Tallahassee.

Leon County ranked 3rd out of 67 for the highest food insecurity rate.  

Recent grocery store closures could further contribute to food deserts in already impoverished areas, or even create what's called a food swamp, where the primary food sources are fast food chains and liquor stores.

DOH leadership says that the two assessments are needed because the results could be connected.

“They both go hand in hand,” says Marcus L.T. West, Community Health and Planning Analyst. “Zoning laws can affect what food options we have. … We're focused more on healthy fresh food items, not necessarily just food items.  There are a lot of fast food restaurants and convenient stores, but we want to focus on individuals receiving the food that will promote a healthy lifestyle

The poor nutritional habits in food insecure areas can lead to long term health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. 

Community members in the Bond and Southside Community area can expect door to door surveys for data collection.