Monday, July 20, 2009

health and food deserts

Food deserts are a significant problem on health. While it may make sense that because people who live in food deserts lack access to grocery stores, they should be thin and lacking food. This is untrue. In food deserts, the rates of obesity rise. In a report on the health of those living in food deserts in Chicago, it is noted that food deserts increase the lack of proper food balance in the diet. Proper balance can lead to many health issues such as hypertension. It also leads to an increase in weight. Increase in weight can lead to diabetes and a poor diet can lead to premature death. Why does this happen in food deserts?
Because there are far more conveniently located fast food restaurants than there are grocery stores, those in food deserts tend to eat far more fast food than they should. Those who live in food deserts live off of food that is poor in nutrition simply because they cannot access food that would be nutritious for them. According to "the impact of food deserts on the public health of chicago," about half of all American meals are eaten outside of the home and most of these meals are fast food (Impact, 7). This report goes on to state that " the nearest grocery store is roughly twice as distant as the nearest fast food restaurant." (Impact, 6) Fast food restaurants are very convenient and, when one lives in an area where a grocery store is difficult to access, the fast food restaurant is an appealing alternative. But this appealing alternative causes major health issues and is why those that live in food deserts have a greater risk of dying prematurely.

Kyla Tom

"The Impact of Food Deserts on the Public Health of Chicago."

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