Low-income neighborhoods have a different controlled environment. Poverty adds more stress and social and economical forces can create obesity. Healthy food isn’t an option for people who live in low-income neighborhoods.
Food deserts exist in America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food deserts as “parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.”
Food deserts can be dangerous to your health. Residents who lack access to supermarkets or healthy foods are more likely to suffer from high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Companies charge more in neighborhoods that will pay those prices to make up for the cheaper cost of the products in the lower-income neighborhoods. For example, a bag of chips can cost 25 cents in a convenient store in a lower poverty area and the same bag will cost a dollar or more in a different zip code. Fast-food outlets surround the lower income neighborhoods. The fast food places will have 99-cent deals and people are more willing to eat what’s unhealthy because they can afford it. Cheaper calories are just unhealthy calories.
According to HBO’s Documentary, The Weight of the Nation: Poverty and Obesity, out of 10 states with the highest obesity rates, nine rank among our nation’s poorest. People there will choose to eat what they have access to, not what’s the healthy choice. If people don’t have a car and there’s no close supermarket, there is no way for them to bring decent amount of good groceries home.
If kids are raised on junk foods, they don’t know certain fruits and veggies and how healthy they are for them. In the documentary, New York city started a green cart campaign where fresh fruits and vegetables were sold in low-income neighborhoods at an affordable price for them. This campaign creates opportunities for families to afford a healthy living. In my opinion, farmers in rural areas outside of cities can easily travel to lower-income neighborhoods and sell their products to make a difference.
People don’t realize this is a serious issue in America. People in lower-income neighborhoods need to be given more opportunities to change their eating habits.
By Nicole Pierce