Recently, the American Heart Association commissioned a public opinion poll to better understand how Ohioans felt about healthy food and physical activity issues. As the organization works to improve overall cardiovascular health, addressing key risk factors are critical. These include healthy eating and physical activity, which were included in the opinion poll.
Currently, our nation is in the midst of a food crisis: more than 29 million people in America don’t have access to healthy food options. That’s because they live in “food deserts,” the USDA’s term for areas without grocery stores. For people living in food deserts, it’s often easier to find a can of grape soda than it is to find a bunch of grapes.
- 98% of voters said it is important to have easy access to healthy foods. (Healthy foods are defined as nutrient rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats.
- 81% of voters support a state program that makes healthy foods available to Ohio's children.
- 77% of voters say they focus on buying healthy foods whenever possible.
- 84% of voters think there should be healthier options (vending machines, concession stands and cafeterias) in public places with over 60% of voters strongly agreeing.)
- 90% of voters are very concerned that 500,000 of Ohio's children don't have access to healthy foods.
Turning towards physical activity, it is important that communities have safe places to walk or bike. Right now, many of our streets lack sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and other components that would make healthy travel options safer for everyone. When it comes to promoting safe travel and healthy living, we need to make sure street design is a part of the conversation.
- 75% of voters favor a policy that encourages communities to design and operate streets and roads for the safety of all users, including more sidewalks, crosswalks and protected bike lanes.
- 81% of voters strongly favor investing some of the existing transportation budget on safety-related improvements to public streets and roadways.
- 75% of voters agree that a Complete Streets policy will make communities more livable and attractive.
- 73% say it will help connect currently isolated communities with one another and the main city through sidewalks, bike lanes, multi-use paths and better access to public transportation.
- 71% of voters believe it will give low income residents more affordable transportation options.
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From a statewide telephone survey of 600 registered voters in Ohio, including 240 cell phone respondents. December 2016.