On food politics, I  found an entry that is almost directly related to my research question. Marion nestle responds to the question: “I was wondering if you could comment on the recent article in the NYTimes which questions the link between food deserts and obesity.”

The article talks about two recent studies that find no correlation between the types of food children eat, what they weigh, and the kinds of foods available within a mile and a half of their homes. This is interesting to me because I was almost positive these two issues were DIRECTLY related.

It is stated that obesity is more common among the poor because they must be eating more calories than they burn during physical activity. The foods they are eating, fast food, snacks, and sodas, all are densely populated with calories.

Nestle believes that there are many reasons why the poor have less healthy diets. 1)Access to healthier foods are less available. 2) Healthier foods cost more. 3)It requires more preparation and cooking to make healthier foods. 4)Healthier foods requires more equipment. 5)The location of stores may be too far away. 6)Fast foods are heavily marketed in low-income areas. 7) Fruits and vegetables at stores may not be fresh. 8) It is considered the norm in today’s society to eat high-calorie foods.

She believes that cost is the most influential factor for why the less fortunate are forced to purchase less healthy foods. “The Department of Commerce reports that the indexed price of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased by 40% since 1980, whereas the indexed price of sodas has declined by about 30%.”

According the blog, the real issue here is poverty.  Unless we do something to reduce income inequality, and to make healthier foods more affordable, not much is going to change.

Advertisements