How healthy is your neighborhood?

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2009-10-22 06:18:46 -0500
Started 2009-10-13 09:52:43 -0500

Did you see this news story?

Researchers at Drexel University studied how neighborhoods can influence the risk of diabetes. They actually found that "healthier" neighborhoods have a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.

How did they judge if a neighborhood was healthy? They asked simple questions about opportunities for physical activities and the availability of healthy foods. (And I thought it would be fun to survey our community here to see how you too would answer these questions)

Is it easy or pleasant to walk in your community?

Do local stores carry a large, high-quality selection of fruits, vegetables and other low-fat foods?

Please share your thoughts about your neighborhood. Could your city be doing more? Could local businesses make it easier to eat healthier?

13 replies

some energy left
some energy left 2009-10-20 18:00:42 -0500 Report

Walking in my community is not very "user friendly". There are parts of the streets that are not fully sidewalked and there is much traffic on even the smaller streets in my immediate area. I am new here…Hello to everyone.

Petrea 2009-10-18 01:39:49 -0500 Report

I live in a rural area that is mostly farms. A lot of the farmers grow their own food but in recent years I don't think as much. I used to do a lot of canning which carried us through the winter mmnths. We do have apple, plum,and pear trees and I can the fruit with no sugar. Our nearest grocery store is about 20 miles away. During the summer there is a farmers market once a week and we can get a variety of fruits & vegs. then but it doesn't start until June and ends the end of October. As far as exercise, living on the farm is exercise 24/7 year round, so no problem there…lol…

some energy left
some energy left 2009-10-20 18:13:29 -0500 Report

Hello, the excersise part is great, I am so glad for you that you are probably in nice shape with that kind of exposure to excersise. The food thing is not as easy for you, unless you have an extra fridge and freezer to store, store, store. I do it and I have probably 10 large grocery stores within a 5 mile radius. But, I dont like cemicles and additives in the foods I eat or serve my Fam. I like to make home made spagetti and reg. tomato sauces then freeze them for later use, thing is…once I defrost, it needs to be consumed no late than the next day of so, as it is without preservities. I like eating Yoplait yogurt, the blue pkg. very low on sugur and carbs. very very delicious.

GabbyPA 2009-10-15 09:02:31 -0500 Report

My old neighborhood was one that allowed for activity, but no one knew each other. It was kind of a bummer. I reached out to my neighbors, but it was all kind of one way for the most part. Really sad actually.

Now I live in a less "snooty" neighborhood and I find it much more conducive to exercise, good feelings about neighbors and just an ease of life. Of course in Florida you can do activities all year, and while we don't have mountain trails, we do have great bike trails and lots of swimming and camping. I can now ride my bike to the market to pick up a few things and I am looking forward to doing that...once we get air back in the tires and it gets below 90 degrees! whew

We have the ability to have our own gardens which help a lot, but we also have great local markets that grow their own foods and sell them. I shop there when our gardens are not in producing stages. There is a nice feeling of community there as certain vendors become friends. I like it a lot, and I suppose that is a big part of being healthy is liking what you do.

We also have a large selection of organic and grass fed livestock at our butchers. I think we are in a good place over all. I suppose age would be another factor, as such a large number of people in Florida are of the retirement age.

Robbin Lynn
Robbin Lynn 2009-10-14 22:29:40 -0500 Report

I live in Washington DC. I can walk to anywhere I need to get to in order to buy what I can afford. But I find it hard to manage my Type 2 Diabetes because I am homeless, living in a homeless shelter with my son who is 19 years old and could be diabetic because the gene is there according to my family history and he is obese. I receive unemployment benefits and do not qualify for food stamps. The shelter provides one meal a day which mostly consists of something thrown together with rice or pasta, which as you know is too many carbohydrates for someone with diabetes. Advice please!

GabbyPA 2009-10-15 08:54:28 -0500 Report

I know when things are so tight, eating healthy is often the first thing to go. But if you look at it like this, maybe it will help. For the cost of a bag of chips, you can get a bag of small apples. For the cost of a sub sandwich, you could get enough items to make a salad for both of you with dressing. Adding fresh foods to the shelter main stay is going to be vital to your keeping healthy, specially thru the winter. You want to add as much fresh to your diet as you can, get your carbs from the shelter meal, and make healthy snacks for you during the rest of the day. It is hard at first, but you will start to feel better once you do, and that will inspire more healthy choices.

some energy left
some energy left 2009-10-20 18:07:46 -0500 Report

Is there a possability of going into another shelter? I have looked into some for a friend not too long ago and there are some that have unlimited meals free in the house and a nice room with training and many other needed things. I wish the best to you and your Son. PS. would he like to comment to me, I have a Son age 23 yrs. who is a possible candidate for type 2 also, genetically speaking.

Harlen 2009-10-13 19:41:48 -0500 Report

Im going to die boo hoo boo hoo
Getting mugged by the deer and bears
and dont forget the turkeys the little pick pockets.
Its so brutle out in the sticks where I live lol

Darly 2009-10-13 12:06:18 -0500 Report

It is not easy or pleasant at all to walk in my neighborhood,unfortunately! I would never walk alone at night. Although I live in a secured Condo building,outside the locked gates is another world, you see so many walking around like zombies from drugs & alcohol.

We do have a Shaw's up the street,and,StopNShop down the other end,although I go shopping in another town as the prices are too high.

some energy left
some energy left 2009-10-20 18:03:41 -0500 Report

Hi Darley, I dont know where you live, could it be Newyork LOL. I have the same problem, so I put disco or hip hop with a moveable or danceable beat and while moving around the house I at least try to get some effective excersize into my day. Hope this helps even a little for you, Take care, energy

SuzyAttendorn 2009-10-13 10:24:48 -0500 Report

We have Walmart and Price Chopper nearby and if I can't find it at one, I find it at the other. I feel very fortunate to be close enough to places where I can buy what I need. We also have several fresh produce places that are wonderful.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2009-10-13 09:58:58 -0500 Report

After reading this article, I do feel pretty lucky to live where we live. We have a terrific system of jogging and biking trails all through our city. In addition, there are hiking trails in the mountains just east of us.

Our grocery stores are well stocked with fresh produce and healthy foods.

I have to say overall, our neighborhood would rate very high.