Do zip codes mean more than genetic codes?

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 9.01.25 AMObesity. It’s that subject that, when brought up, we say: “People just need to get off the couch and stop eating junk!”

That may be true, but depending on your zip code, it may not be that easy. In the United States in 2010, over 63 percent of people are overweight or obese. There are many correlations between those that are obese, with those that are poor.

Why?

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 9.02.01 AMFood Deserts

In some parts of the country, people do not have access to fresh fruit, vegetables or other healthy foods (particularly in impoverished areas). Usually, this is due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other healthy food providers.

Convenience

Instead of having the option of fresh food, many people are presented with countless fast food and convenience store items. They are at tempting low prices, where families with little money can try to stretch their dollar. These foods are full of sugar, wheat and corn, which as an unbalanced meal can be extremely unhealthy.

Exercise

Depending on where you live, you may not have a park or track where you can exercise regularly. It also can be dangerous for you to run on the streets due to violence or lack of upkeep (no sidewalks, pot holes, that kind of thing).

Time

Many people do not have the time to take public transportation to a grocery store miles away (and probably do not have the ability to carry everything, if they do). Depending on shift times, they likely do not have time needed to prepare and plan for a healthy meal.

Why should you care?

We need a healthy work force. Everyone benefits from that. It’s an investment. If we can fix this, we will reduce sick time, chronic diseases, health costs and most importantly. people will be healthy.

Obesity needs to be addressed. However, it is tied to poverty. Find out what people are doing to help solve the problem.

By Lyndsi Petitti

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