Food Deserts

Powerful Essays
When the dinner bell rings in America, many families are not flocking to the table, but running to the car and the call of the “Golden Arches”. In today’s over-scheduled world, food has now become an afterthought and America is paying the price, literally. Obesity is now an epidemic and a crisis that is not slowing down. The nation is not only paying the price with sky-rocketing medical bills from the effects of the American diet, but also with the deteriorating health of its citizens and for the first time in history, a generation with a shorter life expectancy than the generation before. Food today looks nothing like the food of just 40 years ago, and now instead, is making people sick and obese. It is quick, and the cheap, boxed, frozen,…show more content…
Quoting Wal-Mart, Mr. Holt-Gimenez explains, “If you’ve always lived near a grocery store, or fresh market, here’s something you’ve probably never considered: There are neighborhoods across the United States where it is nearly impossible to find fresh produce. These places are called ‘Food Deserts’ and Walmart is committed to removing them from our communities” (525). Access to fresh, high-quality food is a major factor in today’s obesity problem and the reason why lower income individuals suffer from higher obesity. Lower income residents, often with no access to transportation other than the public system, are at the mercy of the food offerings that are within a few blocks from their home. With no grocery stores or fresh markets around, their choices are limited to fast, low-quality take out or pre-packaged foods void of any nutritious value. Increasing access to whole, fresh foods is a major step in combatting the growing obesity and health crisis in these neighborhoods. People cannot eat food they do not have access to and Wal-Mart is taking the first steps to change this. Proof of success is seen from, “The Center for Disease Control and Prevention which credits…a greater variety of fresh produce in low-income neighborhoods for a drop in obesity rates among preschoolers” (Brady 520). However,…show more content…
The main contributor, widely reported by top experts, is the consumption of cheap, and convenient foods such as fast food and the myriad of boxed foods available in the supermarket. Diane Brady asserts in her essay, “The Employer-Friendly Case for Pricer Big Macs” that “Of all the reasons why a third of U.S. adults are obese, the lure of cheap, unhealthy food ranks near the top” (519). With continual attention being given to the effects of unhealthy foods on adults and especially young people, one would think that America would wise up and stop consuming it at such an alarming rate. Again, Brady points out that, “Fast food chains have raised their game with healthier menu offerings and support for programs that encourage physical activity, but they continue to thrive by selling high-calorie food. McDonald’s salads, introduced in 1987, make up just 2 percent to 3 percent of U.S. sales” (520). So, a conclusion could be drawn that consumers will and do choose the unhealthy option a majority of the time. However, it does not address the disconnect, or why people are still consuming foods that are unhealthy for them even when given other options. One reason prominently stands out above the rest and that is the lack of education on the real effects the American diet, a highly addictive diet comprised of processed foods, high in sugar and fat, and void of fresh produce and other
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