Access to Health foods

imageI remembered learning in high school that lower income areas tend to have less access to health foods because there are less grocery stores, and more gas stations and fast food chains. The video we watched in class reminded me of this. It makes sense that people of lower incomes would tend to have more ailments considering they do not even have access to the proper nutrients their bodies need. The U.S department of agriculture did a study in 2009 that showed that 23.5 million people do not have access to a supermarket within a mile of their home. You have to think also that these people tend to lack access to transportation as well, so they would be more likely to buy food from a gas station or fast food place that is closer to their home. Studies also show that areas of low income have half as many supermarkets as wealthier areas. 80% of residents that are not white in Albany New York do not have access to low fat milk or high fiber bread in their area. 46% of people in Baltimore Maryland lack access to healthy foods nearby. More than 70% of people that are eligable for food stamps in Mississippi would have to travel more than 30 miles to reach a food store. There are 30% more convenience stores in low income areas, so due to lack of transportation,  low income people will be more likely to buy from these places. Studies also show that people with primarily access to supermarkets have significantly lower rates of obesity and other ailments. This certainly explains higher rates of illness among low income individuals. For each additional supermarket in a census tract, it is shown that African Americans will increase produce consumption by 32%, and 11% for whites. These statistics show that by increasing the amount of supermarkets in low income areas we could decrease the gap in illness between the wealthy and the poor. These studies prove that low income people will take advantage of access to healthy foods when given the chance, but often times they do not have the chance due to distance and lack of transportation, even among people who have food assistance. A lot of people like to say that poorer people would not choose to eat healthier given the opportunity, but these statistics easily prove that wrong. I think more actions should be taken by the government and states to ensure that all people can have access to healthier foods because this can have a very large impact on the health of every individual affected by the lack of nutrients they have access to. -Madeline Howard

http://thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/grocerygap.original.pdf

 

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One thought on “Access to Health foods

  1. I agree, when ever I go to a more city area I always notice a increase in little conveniences shops. If I lived in a area it would make more sense that you wouldn’t want to walk further to get food especially if you can’t drive. I think that grocery shops should be incorporated into cities more. It would be beneficial to peoples health but also good for the environment because you wouldn’t have to drive far distances. I think that clifton has a couple nearby grocery stores they are all mostly Kroger’s and maybe a little sketchy. Im excited though for the super Kroger’s to be built cause it would mean I could walk like 5 minutes to get my groceries.
    Shelby Simmons

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