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Case Western Reserve University study focuses planting in food deserts
The $2.3 million study will focus on the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood's Hub55
by WKSU's LAUREN BLUE


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Lauren Blue
 
Darcy Freedman is the Associate Director of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. She says the study is an opportunity to look at the causes of obesity in a community.
Courtesy of Case Western Reserve University
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Cleveland researchers are testing a new concept to see how access to healthy foods affect the nutritional health of residents. The $2.3 million, three-year study is being done by Case Western Reserve University to better understand food deserts.

These communities are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as low-income areas that don’t have a supermarket within 10 miles. Darcy Freedman is with the school’s Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. She say the study takes a new approach to nutrition.

 

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The study "is moving completely away from an individualistic focus on risk for obesity to a societal risk, and that paradigm shift will be very important for spurring additional conversation as well as our broader community,” says Freedman. 

Freedman says the study will compare nutritional habits from residents in the St. Clair -Superior neighborhood to residents in South Columbus who don’t have access to a food hub. The Hub55 project combines a restaurant, supermarket and farmer’s market in one space. It will be completed next spring. 


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