Lack of Healthy Food in Poor Areas

Topics: Food

Ever take a trip to the poor side of town and realized there aren’t many healthy food options around, while gentrified, affluent neighborhoods have at least 5 or 6 choices of supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes? Health experts say they should be getting daily sewing of fruits and vegetables in order to remain healthy, but for families in poverty, this is nearly impossible. The rise of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases runs rampant in poor communities because of the absence of healthy dietary options.

Lack of chain supermarkets, over-abundance of fast food, and healthy food being costly are some of the reasons why poor neighborhoods can never have healthy lifestyles. It’s an injustice that chain supermarkets refuse to establish their business in poor communities. They are worried about high crime rates which affect security and insurance costs, poor neighborhoods are associated with a low number of dropouts and educational deficiencies, which leads to supermarkets having to pay for training employees, and suitable sites to build a supermarket, because poor neighborhoods do not have the proper infrastructure to sustain a new building.

These factors limit the amount of investors willing to fund any supermarket alternative in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, These neighborhoods are dominated by mom and pop comer stores that offer a limited selection of goods, most of them don’t have the funding or resources to obtain fresh ingredients to sustain a healthy diet for the community. They rely on packaged goods and processed foodstuffs to make a profit due to longer shelf life.

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How can the community sustain itself with such limited options available? Limited options are some of the factors affecting poor communities, When one option cannot sustain the community, another option comes in, and that’s fast food franchises. Packed with sugar, salt, and fat. fast food is one of the contributors to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. They offer a cheap alternative to a fulfilling meal at the cost of one’s health.

Quick and affordable, they are built on almost every major street comer and thoroughfare, easily accessible, and addicting. The government thought it was a great idea to fund black neighborhoods by giving franchise opportunities to owners of color. Of course. the ownels became wealthy, while the majority whittled away their savings in medical bills and hamburgers. If given the choice, would paying 56 for a burger combo meal at XYZ fast food joint be more appealing than buying a $6 bag of salad? Salad at that price range won’t be able to fill you up and leave you satisfied. Healthy food has been a profitable trend in affluent communities. The price also matches those in said communities. What about the rural and poor communities? Hard to sell healthy produce at that price—point when there are cheaper alternatives around (usually unhealthy).

A study by Harvard averaged the price of healthy food is $1.50 more per day than unhealthy food (HSPH, 2013). May seem like a little bit, but adds up in a month. factor in with how many people in your family, it’s nigh impossible to afford healthy eating with the prices as they are. Disadvantaged communities are suffering slowly as the lack of supermarkets, fast food, and rising costs of healthy food prevent Americans from staying on a healthy diet. A vicious cycle that keeps on repeating until elected city officials vow to clean it up and change the way food is regulated. Why should low-income residents be denied basic access to healthy food because of their location, income level, and ethnicity? Their needs to be a change, a solution, a proposal to bring to the dinner table and make these affected populations healthier.

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Lack of Healthy Food in Poor Areas. (2023, Mar 21). Retrieved from

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