As we have previously reported the Department of Health, in a desire to promote healthier eating, is looking to utilize the city's bodegas in its campaign. What is strange, however, is the Department's focus on these convenience stores that are typically no bigger than 800 to 1200 sq. ft. There is just not much room in these stores and no one should be surprised that, like their 7-11 cousins in the suburbs, they stock their shelves with the highest mark-up items (such as beer, soda and cigarettes) they can.
Even stranger, as is reported in today's NY Times, is the fact that in doing its surveys DOH did find that in Bed-Stuy, "...only one in three bodegas sold reduced-fat milk, but 9 out of 10 supermarkets in the neighborhood did." Therefore it is quite clear that these low-income communities do have good access to healthier products, just not in the convenience outlets.
Given these findings were not sure why all the attention is being given to the bodegas. It would seem to us that a joint DOH effort with local independent supermarkets makes a great deal more sense if you're looking to promote healthier eating. And this is exactly what we told the agency when we met with them last year.