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Some Areas Still Saturated With Ads For Unhealthy Products

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The number of stores selling e-cigarettes in Sacramento County has gone up 16 percent in the past few years. Last year, 78 percent of stores sold them, up from 62 percent in 2013.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Despite the push for healthy living, California stores still sell a lot of unhealthy products. 

New data show only 13 percent of California stores advertised healthy products, while 70 percent advertised unhealthy products. And only 32 percent sold non or low-fat milk, but 70 percent sold alcohol.

"I'm not too surprised," says San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Alvaro Garza. "The opportunities for healthy choices for a lot of residents are not that great."

Garza says the accessibility and marketing of unhealthy products in low-income neighborhoods makes it harder to promote a healthy lifestyle to the people who live in those areas.

"And if it's too expensive, too far away to get healthy food, they...I wouldn't do it either," says Garza. "I'd get whatever I can afford and what's close by."

"In the higher poverty neighborhoods," explains Garza, "the storefronts - the doors, the windows - are plastered with advertisements for tobacco, for alcohol, for candies. Versus - you go to other higher income, more higher educated communities, you just don't see so much advertising."

More stores are also selling e-cigarettes. Last year, 62 percent of stores sold them, up from 45 percent in 2013.

The number of stores selling e-cigarettes in Sacramento County has gone up 16 percent in the past few years. Last year, 78 percent of stores sold them, up from 62 percent in 2013. And 74 percent of stores near schools sold flavored tobacco products last year. That was a 10 percent decrease from 2013. Statewide, the sale of flavored tobacco products was actually up five percent. 

The data come from a statewide campaign called Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, which promotes nutrition as well as tobacco and alcohol prevention.

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the voice of Capital Public Radio News as anchor of Morning Edition and Insight. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music. Steve also produced stories for CapRadio.org.   Read Full Bio 

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