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Is it easy to buy food anywhere in the city?

The right to adequate and healthy food is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. However, even if it is a law, is it easy to find and buy fresh or minimally processed foods? A survey conducted in Jundiai, a city in the country side of the state of São Paulo, brings the answer to this question. Learn more.

Mariana Fernandes Fortes, Dra. Camila Aparecida Borges, Dr. William Cabral de Miranda, Dra. Patricia Constante Jaime.
September / December 2018

Peripheries have fewer food retail business points

To combat the growth of obesity and other related diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and various types cancer, it is necessary – amongst other measures – that people are able to easily consume healthy foods that have come directly from nature (fresh food), such as fruits, vegetables and greens, or that have been minimally processed, such as corn flour, rice, beans, amongst others. However, researches in Brazil and other countries show that the access to these types of food is not as simple as it seems. A study that was carried out in Jundiai, a city in the country side of the state of São Paulo (SP), shows that residents of the periphery [or] outskirts of urban areas are the most harmed. In order to consume and have access to different types of food, they need to go to the center of the city, where supermarkets, hypermarkets, street farmers markets and butcher shops are concentrated, and where the people with the highest purchasing power live.


960 food retail business points analyzed

In order to verify how the food supply in a city is distributed, researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP) mapped the entire food retail businesses of the city of Jundiai and crossed this information with the social and economic characteristics of the population, such as schooling indexes , average monthly income and the number of residents per household. A total of 960 food retail business points were analyzed – 46.5% of small grocery stores, 16.7% bakeries, 4.7% super and hypermarkets, and 4.8% domestic production, family or direct agriculture producers.


The lack of variety of places that offer fresh or minimally processed foods in peripheral [or] outskirts neighborhoods with low social indicators can hinder access to healthier foods for a large part of the population. The mapping developed by researchers can be used as a basis for public policies that encourage a better distribution of food trade by cities, reducing inequalities. In addition, the study can help leverage existing projects that facilitate citizens’ access to adequate food.

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