AJC Special Report: Atlantas Food Deserts

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Chronic disease often linked to poor diet

Poor nutrition has a major impact on Georgia’s high rate of high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic ills.

By Gracie Bonds Staples | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Not a day goes by that Dr. Charles Moore doesn’t see the results of unhealthy diets in his patients.

Over and over, the ear, nose and throat specialist finds himself treating the same ailments: diabetes, hypertension, obesity. And when he quizzes his patients about their eating habits, he usually hears the same list of foods that are high in fat and salt, low in nutritional value and bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.

So the founder of the Healing Community Center, a free health clinic in southwest Atlanta that emphasizes preventive care and health education, took radical action. He began writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables. Then he took it a step further. He began escorting guided tours through supermarkets to educate his patients on how to shop smarter and eat better. He added cooking classes to instruct them on how to prepare healthier foods and joined with local grocers like Super Giant to label healthy choices throughout the store.

Lavern Evans, 62, and his wife Bonita, 59, came to the Healing Community Center a year ago when they realized they were eating themselves into an early grave.

They were both overweight, and Bonita Evans suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Without the center, they say, it’s hard to say what their lives might look like. Sicker. Maybe dead...

Read The Full Article Here: http://investigations.myajc.com/poordiet/

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