It has been suggested that people of low socio

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much lower intake of fruits and veggies. “It has been suggested that people of low socio- economic status ultimately spend up to 37% more on their food purchases, due to smaller weekly food budgets and poorly stocked grocery stores (Morland, 2002).” (1) Research has found trends between high rates of obesity and individuals of low- income and non-white ethnicity, particularly in the case of women. The USDA says that fast food restaurants are also disproportionately placed in low-income and minority neighborhoods, and are often the closest and cheapest food options for those who have no other option. “People living in the poorest areas have 2.5 times the exposure to fast-food restaurants as those living in the wealthiest areas” (1) The lack of adequate food sources and often times, very limited transportation available to low-income families are both contributing factors to malnutrition among those living in low-income, impoverished neighborhoods. The reason the food desert concept has only recently surfaced is that because “before the 1950’s, the food landscape of rural and urban areas consisted of local, small businesses and supermarkets. In recent decades, many traditional food-retailing firms have become larger and the total number of stores has decreased. Land-use policies that
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facilitate development of predominately wealthy and white suburban neighborhoods have altered the distribution of food stores, as larger supermarkets have migrated alongside residents to suburban areas (1) (Morland, 2002). The fact of the matter is that minorities don’t typically live in suburban areas, they live in the city centers where their resources are close and accessible. This has become a huge problem when trying to access foods that are nutritious and recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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Christopher Reinemann
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