Healthy food desert?
July 15, 2011 3:13 PM Subscribe
Better access to supermarkets — long touted as a way to curb obesity in low-income neighborhoods — doesn't improve people's diets, according to new research.
posted by VikingSword (168 comments total)
24 users marked this as a favorite
'The study, which tracked thousands of people in several large cities for 15 years, found that people didn't eat more fruits and vegetables
when they had supermarkets available in their neighborhoods. Instead, income — and proximity to fast-food restaurants
— were the strongest factors in food choice.'
'The results throw some cold water on the idea that lack of access to fresh produce and other healthful foods is a major driver in the disproportionate rates of obesity among the poor, or that simply encouraging grocery chains to open in deprived areas will fix the problem, said study lead author Barry Popkin, director of the Nutrition Transition Program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.'
'The findings are significant because in recent years, policymakers have been pushing for guidelines that limit the number of fast-food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods based on studies reporting lower obesity rates in communities with more supermarkets and fewer fast-food chains.'
'For one thing, experts said, grocery stores are brimming with choices that are every bit as fattening as fast-food meals. For another, the prices of healthful grocery store foods are often higher than fast-food prices.'
So if income is one controlling factor, could tax policies have impact? How about a soda tax? It seems a soda tax to reduce obesity might not work