Food Deserts

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[Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document. Type the abstract of the document here. The abstract is typically a short summary of the contents of the document.] | Around the country, there are numerous amounts of current policy issues that affect each and every individual. Economic policy has impact on banks, careers, and stocks. Educational policy directly affects students as well as their parents. Criminal justice policies help keep our country and communities safe and free of crime. Amongst the bigger issues of America, one that gets constantly overlooked is food, nutrition, and the obesity epidemic throughout the country. Eating a healthy diet and getting the proper…show more content…
In urban areas specifically, mostly people with low-income levels and people who don’t own their own cars are affected by the food deserts. The proximities to fast food restaurants, grocery stores, and large supermarkets have different effects on the low-income residents of the area. Consistent across most urban areas, the low-income tracts are also the places with the highest populations of African-American and Hispanic residents. Small grocery stores are a step ahead of fast food quality; yet do not contain a full spread of healthy choices as a large supermarket would because of costs. In a study done by Janne Boone-Heinonen, a group of doctors and researchers looked at longitudinal data from 15 years in association with diets in young to middle aged people. Their study directly supports the idea that residents of food deserts would benefit greatly of grocery stores and supermarkets being placed closer to their homes. "Greater grocery store availability within 1.00 to 2.99km was related to higher diet quality in low-income men" (Boone-Heinonen, 2010). A big issue with urban food deserts is the lack of personal automobiles by the residents. Therefore, placing smaller grocery stores within reasonable walking distance is a big point of emphasis. "Reducing availability of fast-food chain restaurants within 3 km of low income residents…show more content…
Serious long term diseases and ailments can occur from years of living in an area which lacks access to healthy food. In a nine year longitudinal study of Oakland, California, it was found that people living in an impoverished food desert were 50% more likely to die than if they lived in a better suited community (Chicago Food Desert Report, 2006). A lack of availability combined with both low income levels and physical factors of the region cause statistical deficiencies. “In West Louisville, Kentucky, a low-income African American community that suffers from high rates of diabetes, there is one supermarket for every 25,000 residents, compared to the county average of one supermarket for every 12,500 residents (Community Farm Alliance, 2007).” Another huge example of this is very prevalent in one of our nation’s biggest cities, Chicago. Chicago has a unique city growth in the fact that there are large clusters of racial groups scattered throughout the city. In these clusters, people of the same racial background face many similar economic and health issues. Most specifically, African-American residents of Chicago see extreme disparities in food availability compared to other races. Thus, the short and long term health levels of African-American residents are far behind those of the rest of the city. In 2006, Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group conducted the Chicago Food Desert

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