Healthy Foods Hard to Find in Poor Neighborhoods

According to a new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition retailers in low income communities are less likely to sell healthy food, such fruits and vegetables. Stores in wealthier areas tend to offer healthier fare. Researchers examined survey data from 759 Baltimore, Maryland residents and discovered 24% of blacks lived in neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food, compared to only 5% of whites. Experts propose offering tax breaks to stores in poorer areas for selling healthier food or distributing cash subsides so residents can buy fruits and veggies; HealthDay News reports.

Sadly, this predicament is very common. More and more supermarkets are moving out of New York City, leaving low income residents with small bodegas and drugs stores mostly selling junk food and few, if any, fresh fruits and vegetables. To make matters worse, many of these neighborhoods are already wrought with fast food, deepening local epidemics of heart disease and diabetes.

In related news, people living in communities with a lot of fast food restaurants were found to have an increased risk of stroke. Overall likelihood was 13% higher and increased 1% per restaurant.

Image credit: NatalieMaynor

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Natalie - March 13, 2009 7:19 PM

Maybe if fresh produce and organic foods were as heavily subsidized by the government as meat and dairy, people would be able to afford them. Fruit and veggies are very expensive considering how many you have to eat to match the calories from a Big Mac.

Paul Telesco - September 24, 2010 1:44 PM

I grew up poor, but my mother and grandmother would plant what ever they could get to grow in the tiny yards around what ever house we lived in. Today, both my wife and I work full time, but we still manage to keep fresh vegetables going in our gardens. What ever happened to encouraging people to tell big business "no thanks, we'll make due without your stuff"? Even living in the inner city, there can be community gardens instead of empty lots. People have to stop thinking they are helpless and were there are limited choices, make some of your own.

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