MG had the pleasure of working closely with community leaders on a project sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation and the United Way of Wapello County to assess – block-by-block – the impact of the food environment on community health and on school children’s academic performance. We found statistically significant associations between distances to fringe and mainstream retailers and children’s height and adult weight, body mass index (BMI), and diabetes. We also found that living in a poor food environment is linked to lower grades and lower height of students K-12, and that the food environment had a stronger effect on these outcomes than did income.

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