Education

The Impact of Food Insecurity on Rural Communities

By Ashley Paro, St. Lawrence University Food insecurity or a lack of availability to low-cost healthy foods is common in rural areas where distance to grocery stores is far and the quality of food may be lower. Convenience stores are often more prevalent in areas with lesser access to grocery stores. Many of these establishments have high amounts of cheaper ultra-processed foods which have been shown to be linked to heart diseases, obesity, postmenopausal breast cancer, depression and various cancers (Chen et al., 2020). Convenience stores have also been linked with higher diabetes rates in many rural counties regardless of income (Haynes-Maslow & Leone, 2017). Sometimes these diabetes rates can go unnoticed in areas where health care access is limited. Between 2005 and 2014, people wi...

2018 County Health Rankings

Summary of findings from University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute: After nearly a decade of improvement, there are early signs that the percentage of babies born at low birth weight may be on the rise (8.2% in 2016, a 2% increase from 2014). Low birth weight is a key measure of health and quality of life. Some places and groups of people have fewer social and economic opportunities, which also limit their ability to be healthy. More than 1 out of every 5 youth in the bottom performing counties do not graduate from high school in four years. For American Indian/Alaskan Native, Black, and Hispanic youth, it is 1 out of 4. Residential segregation provides a clear example of the link between race and place. Black residents have higher rates of child poverty, low birth weight, and in...