The Link Between Access and Health: Exploring Disparities in Food and Physical Activity

10 September 2023

Limited access to healthy food and physical activity increases the risk of chronic diseases, disproportionately affecting marginalised communities. Reports, such as the one by UNICEF, highlight that more than 80 per cent of children affected by overweight globally now live in low or middle-income countries. The Nourishing Schools Foundation’s Maharashtra Endline Report further emphasises the need for lifestyle changes, as the percentage of overweight or obese children has doubled since the baseline survey.

Research consistently demonstrates the connection between limited access to healthy food and physical activity and chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. Studies reveal that individuals residing in areas with restricted access to nutritious options are more prone to obesity. Conversely, engaging in regular physical activity lowers the risk of chronic diseases. The Nourishing Schools Foundation Assam Endline Report showcases positive improvements, with a 21 percentage point increase in the percentage of children that play sports or outdoor activities once a month and a 12 percentage point decrease in the percentage of children who never participate in sports or outdoor activities.

Nourishing Schools Foundation addresses these disparities by equipping students with knowledge about nutritious choices, fostering mindful eating habits. It provides toolkits and resources to schools, enabling them to promote healthy eating and physical activity among students.