Poll reveals health issues in EKY

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

A Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that people in Eastern Kentucky have less access to affordable fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky surveyed several people across the state.

46% of adults in Eastern Kentucky reported that they often worry about being able to afford healthy foods.

A regional report shows people in Eastern Kentucky stress about being able to buy nutritious foods.

Nutrition advisors agree fresh produce is expensive, but other options are better than processed foods.

"What's the perfect situation? Fresh fruit, fresh veggies. Can you get it all the time? No. Frozen products are a pretty good quality, so it's a really good, strong second," said Veronica Hagen, Food and Nutritional Team Leader at Manchester Memorial Hospital.

The ARC is providing helpful tips on how to eat better, cheaper.

"We hope to play a role in creating awareness and maybe creating a situation where people can learn best practices to make that happen," said Tony Wilder, Commissioner of the Department for Local Government.

Some people do say there are ways around the pricey fruits and vegetables.

"My mom and dad always had gardens. And I learned from them, and I think a lot of parents now aren't passing that on down to their kids," said Oscar Rice, resident in Eastern Kentucky.

Geographical barriers could be a factor for people in Eastern Kentucky.

"When we look at Eastern Kentucky, just the nature of living in the mountains, it's a beautiful view. But those are some windy roads, and it takes a bit longer to get places," said Sarah Walsh, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Senior Program Officer.

Nutrition advisors say local Farmers Markets could be the answer.

The poll also reveals that people in Eastern Kentucky are less likely to live in walkable communities, which decreases the amount of physical activity within their families.

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