The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity released a report in 2011 on children’s food environment. Scientists calculated an index using the 2000 Census and the location of supermarkets, grocery stores and produce stores (retailers with supplies of healthy foods) and the location of fast-food restaurants, small grocery stores and convenience stores (sources of less healthy food selections). The Modified Retail Food Environment Index reflects the ratio of healthy food sources to less healthy food sources. The number represents the percentage of food retailers that are healthy.
-- Tracts with a score of zero are described as food deserts: areas that lack access to affordable healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
-- Low numbers reflect areas with access to large amounts of snack foods and less healthy food sources. For example, a score of 10 means 10 out of every 100 stores were likely to offer healthy foods, according to the CDC report. On the map of Richmond County below, the areas shaded the lightest colors received the lowest scores.
-- The higher the score, the better access to healthy foods. On the map of Richmond County below, the areas shaded the darkest colors received the highest scores.
-- The index is on a scale of 0 to 100. The average score in the United States is 10. The average for Georgia is 8, while the average rating in South Carolina is 9.
The map outlines the county's Census 2000 tracts. Click on each shaded area to find the tract’s demographic data and index number.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Census 2000