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Montefiore Medical Center Targets Obesity with Healthy Store Initiative

Through its Healthy Store Initiative, Montefiore Medical Center's Office of Community and Population Health is working to increase community access to healthy foods and beverages by partnering with local bodegas and community-based organizations.

To reach their goals of increasing the supply of healthy food and beverages in local stores; enhancing promotion of healthy items in local stores; and developing collaborations with local community groups to increase demand for healthy items in stores, Montefiore Medical Center used a place-based approach to target bodegas in Bronx census block groups with large numbers of obese patients. Four target areas were identified and a two-pronged strategy was adopted to address supply-and-demand factors related to availability and consumption of healthy food.

A follow-up assessment showed that all stores sold water at eye-level in refrigerators, compared to 50% at baseline. Availability of low-sodium canned beans increased to 100% at follow-up, compared to 25% at baseline. Additionally, there was an increase in availability of canned fruit in 100% juice/light syrup (50% to 88%); fresh, ready-to-eat fruits (0% to 25%); and dried fruit (38% to 63%), from baseline to follow-up.