Online Program

Food is Medicine: Literacy across Race, Income, and Neighborhood

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Terry Mason, M.D., FACS, Cook County Department of Public (CCDPH), Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), Oak Forest, IL

Lena Hatchett, PhD, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics/ Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division, Maywood, IL
Kenneth Campbell, DBE, MPH, MA, MBA,, Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), Oak Forest, IL
Arthur Pope, PhD, Bioethics, Loyola, Maywood, IL
Asra Khalid, Bioethics, Loyola, Maywood, IL
Background: Food as Medicine is a community health promotion campaign formed around the simple idea that what you put in your body matters.  A suburban Cook County report on food access shows the south suburbs has the least food access and the north region has the greatest food access. Since 2008, the Cook County Department of Public Health and Loyola University of Chicago delivered a culturally tailored campaign that reconnects African American communities to their history of growing and eating fresh foods. Food as Medicine partners developed community gardens, entrepreneurial gardens, and workforce development programs, lead by African American residents in Cook County. The current study will determine the level of fruit and vegetable recognition across Cook County residents.

Methodology: One-hundred seventy participants from Maywood, and Markham, IL completed a 36-item food recognition survey, demographics, and food intake assessment.

Results: Analysis will identify the differences in food recognition across social and structural determinants of health. The study population consisted of African Americans (79%), Caucasians (10.5%), and Latinos (9%) with representation across age, education, and income levels.  Participants were able to recognize several local fruits and vegetables. Differences across communities and demographic factors will be presented and discussed.

Conclusions: The results will build the Food as Medicine campaign and explore the historic and cultural meanings of foods as a health benefit. Food as Medicine promotes the community demand for healthy food environments that work in conjunction with policy, systems, and environmental strategies.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the level of fruit and vegetable recognition among suburban Cook County residents. Identify whether there is an association between income level and food recognition among residents of Maywood and Markham, Illinois.

Keyword(s): African American, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Chief Operating Officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health. This is a state-certified local public health department serving suburban Cook County including 125 local municipalities,covering a 700 square mile area with a large urban population of approximately 2.3 million residents.I am also responsible for public health programs and services for one of the nation’s largest metropolitan health departments,ranging from disease prevention,control and epidemiology;health statistics;health promotion;STD/HIV screening;emergency preparedness,environmental licensing,inspections and complaints.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.