Food Deserts Essay

931 Words4 Pages

With the rising price of groceries, the amount of food deserts, and the rampant amount of cheap, fast, unhealthy food in low income communities, it is no wonder that poverty level and obesity rates intersect. Without proper access to affordable groceries, coupled with the sheer amount of fast food restaurants, many families fail to get proper nutrition. Instead, meals are filled with empty calories and no time to burn them off. To what extent can we blame individuals before we have to take a look at their food environment? Without support for low income families and individuals, obesity rates will continue to rise at an unprecedented rate. If intervention does not come soon enough, will middle and lower class America soon become stuck in a …show more content…

According to an article by Social Policy Lab, roughly 1 in 6 Americans struggling to eat daily, the rate of people facing food struggles in food deserts is the highest it is ever been. A food desert is defined by the Food Empowerment Project as an urban area where it is difficult to find affordable, or good quality food. Examples include areas with only high end, out of budget food retailers, or cities where groceries stores are not available and the local populace rely on small corner stores or bodegas. Without access to the fruits and vegetables that are the strong base of a healthy well rounded diet, there is no choice but to turn to quick, high calorie, fatty, and sugar filled meals. A first step in ending any sort of food insecurity or widespread health problems would be to plant a seed directly at the source of the problem, the seed being accessible and affordable grocers. By increasing the amount of available healthy foods the amount of people struggling with both obesity and nutrient deficiency would go down at a significant rate. Having access to affordable healthy food as opposed to fast food would help residents learn healthy eating habits and reduce the need to constantly consume the fattening and overall unhealthy foods many restaurant chains provide. The first step is simple yet effective in solving a part of America's obesity epidemic, invest in …show more content…

In a 2014 study, it was found that in predominantly black neighborhoods the average distance between fast food restaurants were 3.56 miles closer then in other observed areas. While poverty was not directly correlated with fast food restaurants the correlation between fast food access and race was stronger in areas with higher poverty levels. The convenience of fast food coupled with lack of accessible grocery stores leaves having to choose between spending more money and time on good food choices, or being able to easily turn to the fast food stops that populate their local area. Low income people have few options to feed themselves and their families while taking into account their budgets. How can people's health be judged without having an understanding of their specific food environment? When people are blamed for being obese by saying they are just lazy or make bad choices, it excludes the many factors that they have no control over. Without addressing one of the root causes of obesity in lower income areas the problem will continue to get worse and many residents' health will continue to

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