Maybe it’s not surprising that Philadelphia — home of the cheesesteak, scrapple, and Tastykake — has one of the highest obesity rates among large U.S. cities. (To be fair, nobody’s bragging about their city’s quinoa salad.)
The city has been actively battling the bulge for years. Deep fryers were banned in school kitchens in 2010 and kids haven’t been able to buy soda in school vending machines since 2004, for instance. (On a related front, Philly has targeted Chinese takeout restaurants for excessive salt. No word on the fate of the fortune cookie.)
But the city’s most visible and far-reaching program, the largest of its kind in the country, has been the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. The city-wide project, spearheaded by Philadelphia-based nonprofit The Food Trust, is an attempt to convince corner stores, those one-stop shops for SunnyD and SnoBalls, to carry healthy food.
The program began as a small pilot project, with only 11 participating stores. In 2010, it expanded to more than 600 stores of an... Read more