A Study of the Diocese of Ajuda in Lisbon Reveals the Difficulty of Accessing Healthy Food

Unprocessed food prices increased 15% compared to the same period last year.

Only one in five places to buy food in the Agoda de Lisboa parish sells fresh fruits and vegetables and the location of these spaces makes it difficult to provide healthy food, according to a pilot project whose results were presented on Monday.

Changing Cities for Diabetes in Lisbon (CCD), a program for the prevention of diabetes and obesity in the city, developed in collaboration with the organizations Gehl and Locals Approach Studying the urban environment of the parish of Ajuda, to understand the habits diet of the population, food options and the quality of public spaces in this area of ​​the capital.

This pilot project, which took place in Bairro 2 de Maio, involved making tools available to the local community to raise awareness of the importance of food literacy and a healthy lifestyle.

“We are a pilot project in the design of a local food plan, we want to contaminate the country with this positive virus,” says Goncalo Volgado, author of the pilot project, in statements to Agencia Lusa.

Through the analysis, it was possible to develop a set of recommendations and initiatives aimed at creating more favorable conditions for better health and greater physical and social well-being of the population, especially among those who have fewer opportunities to make healthy choices, according to the organization. .

The study allowed us to conclude that there is a shortage of food, especially fresh vegetables and fruits, since only one in five commercial stores sells this type of food. The location of the spaces exacerbates the problem, as they are very far from the residences, as the Agoda ramp is one of the biggest accessibility challenges observed in the neighborhood, considering the weight of purchases.

Unfavorable local weather conditions, the inconvenient and unsafe layout of public spaces – with 65% reserved for cars and only 20% for pedestrians – and reduced visibility given to healthy food supplies in commercial spaces are other difficulties.

Regarding the relationship between the price and the choice of healthy foods, the study mentions the influence of the current context of inflation. For example, the price of unprocessed food has increased by 15% compared to the same period last year.

“Here we have been able to offer a range of potentially interesting solutions. This strengthens local power and public policies are reinforced by collective intelligence, the so-called intelligent citizenship,” says the author of the pilot project.

The person in charge of the Local Popular Approach Association lists some of the proposed solutions, based on community proposals, such as the creation of a kitchen for communal use where food literacy workshops can be held, the construction of escalators on the Agoda ramp, to facilitate the transport of purchases, and also set up a business to supply the shortage in the area. .

On World Diabetes Day, celebrated this Monday, CCD Lisboa launches the “Foodscapes Toolkit”, an information methodology that helps municipalities alert their communities about the importance of food environments, physical activity and The healthy lifestyles.

The president of the Associação Protectora dos Diabeticos de Portugal (APDP), José Manuel Boavida, points out the need to identify weaknesses in people’s eating habits, through an intervention very close to communities, to educate about healthy eating .

The head of the APDP is concerned about the health of the diet in Portugal, where approximately 15% of the Portuguese suffer from diabetes and that poverty, unemployment and a low level of literacy tend to increase this number.

The day will also be marked with the signing of the ‘Urban Diabetes Declaration’, a moment that will renew the commitment of CCD Lisboa partners to collaborate in the response to the challenge of diabetes in the city.

Since November 2019, Lisbon has been part of the Diabetes Changing Cities Organization, membership formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration between the Lisbon City Council, the APDP, the Lisbon Regional Health Department and the Tagus Valley, the NOVA School of Medicine and Novo Nordisk Portugal, with the adhesion of the Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa in 2020.

The results of the project will be presented at the City Hall, starting at 2:00 p.m.

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