More and more supermarkets are leaving New York City, making it hard for many people to find healthy fresh food in their neighborhoods. David Gonzalez of The New York Times reports:
The dearth of nearby supermarkets is most severe in minority and poor neighborhoods already beset by obesity, diabetes and heart disease.This is a major reason why certain neighborhoods in New York have staggering rates of obesity and diabetes. More from this New York Times miniseries:
According to the food workers union, only 550 decently sized supermarkets — each occupying at least 10,000 square feet — remain in the city…
… In some cases, the old storefronts have been converted to drug stores that stand to make money coming and going — first selling processed foods and sodas, then selling medicines for illnesses that could have been prevented by a better diet.
The supermarket closings — not confined to poor neighborhoods — result from rising rents and slim profit margins, among other causes. They have forced residents to take buses or cabs to the closest supermarkets in some areas. Those with cars can drive, but the price of gasoline is making some think twice about that option. In many places, residents said the lack of competition has led to rising prices in the remaining stores…
…The lack of easily available fresh food has prompted city and state officials to convene several task forces to address the public health implications.
The recent study conducted by the Department of City Planning estimated that as many as three million New Yorkers live in what are considered high-need neighborhoods — communities characterized by not enough supermarkets and too many health problems.
- New York City's Diabetes Epidemic
- A Tale of Two Cities: New York’s Diabetic Dilemma
- "The Diabetes Epidemic"