It is said that obesity can be caused by not knowing how to combat and prevent this common disease before it begins in poverty stricken areas. Additionally the availability of nutritious food choices and the means to have safe active life style are not available to those who suffer from poverty due to financial and educational disadvantages. Obesity is not just a class problem, but financially disadvantaged people that lack access to quality food will inevitably turn to high calorie processed foods that will stretch their food dollar.
Researcher James Levin’s “Poverty and Obesity in the U.S” from American Diabetes Association, research about the Obesity and Diabetes in Poverty counties/reigns of the United States. Levin believes poverty and obesity are linked to each other. According to Levin’s research “ People in America who live in the most poverty-dense counties are those most prone to obesity. ” . There are many reason that link poverty to obesity, but Levin believes lack of fresh food and inactivity has a huge role in chronic metabolic disease (obesity and diabetes), and cardiovascular death. People who
If there are any grocery stores are available in lower income areas, most of the people can’t afford the healthier, more expensive foods in the grocery store. They settle for cheaper, but filling, foods. Food deserts are also known for having more fast food restaurants available for the community. Fast food restaurants are built in bulk in lower income areas because more lower income families use them. “Low-income youth and adults are exposed to disproportionately more marketing and advertising for obesity-promoting products” (Food Research and Action Center). Since the fast food restaurant is quicker and easier to get to, and cheaper, it seems to be the better for many families.
According to Wall Street Journal, “More than 33% of adults who earn less than $15,000 per year were obese, compared with 24.6% of those who earn at least $50,000 per year.” (Izzo 2011) Processed foods such as cheeseburger or French fries tend to be cheaper than buying healthier ingredients and making home cooked food. When people have lower incomes, they do suffer from food insecurity, which is an important connection between poverty and obesity. Two reasons can contribute to obesity: parents are working and are no longer at home with their children and therefore not able to cook balanced meals; and foods with high fat are cheaper than healthy foods.
One huge problem that the United States faces today are the large numbers of food deserts. A food desert, according to the United States department of Agriculture, is a neighborhood that has a difficult time getting quality and affordable food to their home. This means that people are not properly being fed and getting the nutrition needed for a healthy diet. The good quality food that is needed to maintain this balance is not near or affordable for the people living in these areas. Food deserts affect many people across the United States, especially those that are on the lower end of the social economic spectrum and live in rural areas. Many of these low-income families do not have the means to get to the supermarket and get the right products they need so they settle for lower quality but more cost efficient foods. A great example for a food desert would be the great city of Chicago who is ranked in the top two worst food deserts in the United State according to newsone.com.
The existence of food deserts is an issue of both public health and social justice (Schafft, Jensen and Hinrichs 153). Schafft et al. made this point with reference to the state of Pennsylvania. Utilizing data from Pennsylvania, Schafft et al. studied the relationship between residences in a food desert (whose definition was established through a proximity-based model utilizing distance from large grocery stores as a criterion) and found that schoolchildren living in food deserts were more likely to be both poor and obese. Schafft et al. utilized these findings to reach the conclusion that the
More than 20 million people live in food deserts, areas where at least a third of the population lives more than one mile from the nearest grocery store (10 miles in rural areas). Without a supermarket in the vicinity, food desert residents must get their meals from whatever options are around—often fast-food joints and corner stores. Burger Kings and bodegas aren’t exactly hitting the highlights of the food pyramid.
Healthy eating is vital to eliminating sickness and diseases in one’s life. Many people suffer from diabetes, obesity, heart conditions, and high blood pressure because of improper eating habits. To a degree, most of these eating habits are related to limited access to produce healthy foods. The increasing amount of food deserts and lack of family income contributes to African-American obesity rates, and lack of healthy choices. Ironically, these food desserts reside in communities plagued by poverty. These income restrictions also add to the problems that are part of being in a food desert.
Statistically, food deserts are most likely to appear in large urban areas packed with people and housing projects. Some places that people would never even think would be considered a food desert are, ranked in order are, “ New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York.” According to the article, Americas 9 Worst Urban Food Deserts written by “NEWSONE”. Any catch you off guard? The common
Many of the people living in food deserts are people with low income. These low-income families often turn to the junk food provided at the convenience stores and fast food restaurants because it is all they can afford. Socio-economic status is a defining characteristic of food deserts. Food deserts are most commonly found in areas dominated by minorities and low-income families. Studies show that wealthy areas have about triple the amount of supermarkets as poor urban areas do. In addition to this, predominantly white communities have about 4 times as many grocery stores as predominantly black ones do. Studies also show that grocery stores in African-American neighborhoods are usually smaller and have less option when it comes to the
In the last decade, research on food deserts has become increasingly common. Despite the burgeoning interest in food deserts, there was no systemic review until Beaulac, Kristjansson, and Cummins (2009). This addresses the gap by systematically reviewing the evidence for food deserts, specifically in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. Food deserts in disadvantaged areas are
The primary effect of living in a food desert census tract is that residents tend to be vastly more food insecure than those who have easier access to grocery stores. Approximately 23 million Americans live in census tracts defined as food deserts. The United States Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life (USDA 2018).” Food desertification is a complex socioeconomic problem with no clear consensus regarding how to best tackle the several issues that may influence its existence. It can occur in both rural and urban settings, with each locale often facing its own logistical
Food desert are urban, suburb, and rural boroughs without ready access to fresh healthy and economical food. The communities that are considered food deserts, has no grocery stores or supermarkets within a walking distance from their household. The families that live in those areas do not have access to transportation; therefore, they consume food that is accessible, which is usually processed. Most stores that people, living in a food desert, go to is convenience stores, which are usually near their households, and are accessible to some healthy foods. Another, place where many people receive their food from is fast food, and the food from those places is greasy and fattening. The lack of access to healthy food could lead to a lot of disasters,
Low socioeconomic status individuals have limited access to healthy and affordable foods which sequentially contributes to obesity. One might contend that the government provides assistance (WIC and Food Stamps) to
So there is a trend, but why are those with low incomes more susceptible to obesity? There are many factors. Low income areas lack in resources that produce healthy options. Residents are limited to convenience stores that have limited selection of healthy, affordable foods. Lack of transportation limits low income families because they cannot drive to the grocery store very often. In the occasional trips that they do make, they have to buy foods that will keep for a long time, until they are able to shop again. Preservatives in food generally make for unhealthy meals. “Households with limited resources to buy enough food often try to stretch their food budgets by purchasing cheap, energy-dense foods that are filling – that is, they try to maximize their calories per dollar in order to stave off hunger (frac.org, 2014).” For those who have no transportation, they may not even have the opportunity to travel to the social services office to sign up for food assistance.