Health Equity Considerations
Los Angeles County is one of the largest and most diverse counties in the United States.1 Consequently, the adoption of the Healthy Food Promotion in Los Angeles County Food Service Contracts motion has the potential to reach a broad audience. Almost ten million people live in Los Angeles County. As of 2010, approximately 48% of the population is Hispanic or Latino, 28% is non-Hispanic white, 14% is Asian, and 10% is Black. The percent of foreign-born residents in this jurisdiction was 35.6% during 2007-2011. During the same time period, about 16% of county residents lived below the poverty line. Almost 23% of children in grades 5, 7, and 9 were obese (BMI >95th percentile). Nearly 36% of adults were overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9), and another 22% were obese (BMI >30).2
As an institutional policy, it specifically targets County employees (the County currently employs more than 100,000 individuals); patrons who purchase food and beverages at County venues, and populations whose meals are provided by County of Los Angeles food venues and programs. The County distributes meals to youth, seniors, patients, and incarcerated individuals; populations who are at greater risk for obesity and poverty. Once the institutional policy is fully implemented, DPH estimates that it will affect nearly 37 million meals offered/served in various County settings per year.
1 Los Angeles County Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2013, from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06037.html
2 Healthy Food Procurement in the County of Los Angeles participated in the Pre-Evaluation Assessments of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Programs and Policies project, a collaborative effort of the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity and ICF International. 2012.