What Makes Places A Food Dessert

Food Deserts*

In recognition of the problem with the term “food desert,” which according to the USDA is defined primarily by proximity to food providers without taking into account other factors such as racism, cost of living, people being time and cash poor, cultural appropriateness of available foods, people’s ability to grow their own foods and so on, the Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) has developed a model that takes into account all of these factors.

Food Apartheid and Food Oppression are more appropriate phrases, according to the Food and Environment Project, but because food desert is the term that is most widely used, we have chosen to use it as our title.

The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture recently issued a report for Congress that found that 2.3 million persons (or 2.2 percent of all US families) live more than one mile distant from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle.

However, economic forces have driven grocery stores out of many cities in recent years, making them so few and far between that a single person’s food shopping trip may require taking multiple buses or trains.

As demonstrated by the Food Empowerment Project’s study, “Shining a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF),” it is easy to ignore towns that are located in food deserts when depending solely on statistics gathered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Thus, a municipality with no supermarket and just two corner grocery stores that sell booze and food would be considered to have two retail food outlets, even though the variety of foods served may be relatively restricted and consist primarily of fast food.” Residents of food deserts may also have difficulty locating foods that are culturally appropriate for them, and dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, and other food sensitivities, may limit the food options available to those who do not have access to larger chain stores that offer a wider variety of foods and ingredients.

In addition, research have indicated that urban residents who shop for food at small neighborhood businesses spend between 3 and 37 percent more than suburbanites who shop for the same things at supermarkets, depending on the commodity.

For example, whereas the total price of fruits and vegetables in the United States climbed by over 75% between 1989 and 2005, the overall price of fatty meals decreased by more than 26% during the same period.

While unhealthy eating may be more cost-effective in the short term, the long-term consequences of limited access to healthy foods are one of the primary reasons that ethnic minorities and low-income populations have statistically higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diet-related conditions than the general population in the United States.

Only twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes was almost unknown among those under the age of 40.

Among recent years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased across all demographic groups; however, the highest increases have been seen in black and brown populations.

These are also the populations that are most likely to live in food deserts, and studies have shown a clear link between food insecurity and an increase in the number of people who develop diabetes.

In order to explain this discrepancy, researchers emphasize that the high-calorie foods that are most readily available in food deserts put residents living in these areas at greater risk for diabetes in the first place, and that having limited access to healthy foods also makes it more difficult for them to manage diabetes once they are diagnosed with the disease.

One of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease is a diet rich in unhealthy fats and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is characterised by the sorts of food that are typically accessible in food desert areas.

As a result of the higher incidence of obesity in food desert regions, even children and adolescents living in those areas are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (both now and when they reach maturity), according to the American Heart Association.

As part of the “Let’s Move” campaign to address childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama has set a goal of eliminating food deserts by 2017, with a $400 million government investment centered on granting tax benefits to supermarkets that establish in low-income neighborhoods as a part of the program.

Chicago– In food deserts, more than 500,000 persons (most of whom are African-American) live, and an additional 400,000 live in communities where there are a disproportionate number of fast food businesses and no grocery stores nearby.

Along with offering fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, bulk whole grains and beans, and soy-based meat substitutes, some of these stores (such as Fresh Family Foods, located on the city’s South Side) also provide cooking and nutrition classes to educate the public about making nutritious food choices.

  • Because fewer fast food restaurants were available, there was a greater demand for more and better food options.
  • So far, these measures have been successful in bringing the first new grocery to South L.A.
  • New York City is a city that has a lot of things to offer.
  • Increased rents and shrinking profit margins have caused supermarkets throughout New York City to close in recent years.
  • Since 2008, the city has been operating its Green Carts initiative, which has been distributing inexpensive fresh fruits and vegetables to impoverished communities while also offering employment opportunities for vendor participants.
  • What can I do if I live in an area where there is no access to food?
  • To begin, it’s a good idea to talk about alternative choices, such as producing your own food or collaborating with local businesses to provide healthy, vegan meals.

You can also contact out to others who have worked on this subject if you want to learn more.

The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture published a report in 2009 titled Bryan provided this information on August 25, 2017.

“Neighborhood features linked with the location of food shops and food service establishments,” by K., S.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published its first issue in January 2002, with pages 23-29.

(Robert D.) (editor).

173.ttp: The following URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=NAcmSchlTOYC pg=PA173 lpg=PA173 dq=It+has–been+shown.

The date is June 12, 2008.

The LaSalle Bank commissioned the research.

” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2 diabetes: Causes.” CDC National Center for Health Statistics.

and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2011 Diabetes Fact Sheet from the Mayo Clinic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing among children and teenagers.

According to a report published on December 6, 2017, the number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing among children and teenagers.

Basics was accessed on the 6th of December, 2017.” The American Diabetes Association has a website.

“Bringing Healthy Fare to Big-City ‘Food Deserts.’ Diabetes Predictions for December 2009.

and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.

Publications of the Harvard School of Public Health, 2015.

The Office of Minority Health.

lvlid=19(3/05/11) The Office of Minority Health.

Obesity.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report in 2008 titled “Everyone took a stand.” The White House Blog, published on February 20, 2010.

“Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago,” a research project in which The study was commissioned by LaSalle Bank and completed in 2006.

“Would a Walmart be able to alleviate the food insecurity issues in West Oakland and Nashville?” The Los Angeles Times, 5 October 2010.

Kim.

The New York Times, August 12, 2008.

The New York Times published an article on January 15, 2011.

A report published in The New York Times on March 20, 2009, with the sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11).

“Measuring food deserts in New York City’s low-income areas,” New York City Department of City Planning, 2008.

“Measuring food deserts in New York City’s low-income communities.” Page 697 to 700 in Health Place, March 2011. Vol. 17(2), page 697 to 700. Jeff. “Can other cities follow New York’s lead in introducing vegetable carts into food deserts?” The New York Times published an article on March 11, 2010.

What Is a Food Desert? Causes, Statistics, & Resources

It is recognized that the term “food desert,” as defined by the USDA, does not adequately account for other factors such as racism, the cost of living, people’s lack of time and money, the cultural appropriateness of the foods available, and the ability to grow one’s own food, among others. The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people through the cultivation of food. Food oppression and food apartheid are more appropriate phrases, according to the Food & Environment Project, but because food desert is the term that is most widely used, we have chosen to use it as our title for the sake of consistency.

According to a report provided for Congress by the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, about 2.3 million persons (or 2.2 percent of all US families) live more than one mile distant from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle.

However, economic forces have driven grocery stores out of many cities in recent years, making them so few and far between that an individual’s food shopping trip may require taking several buses or trains to get there.

The paper “Shaking a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF)” by the Food Empowerment Project demonstrates that when depending on statistics collected by the United States government, it is possible to ignore populations that are located in food deserts.

Thus, a municipality with no supermarket and just two corner grocery stores that sell booze and food would be considered to have two retail food outlets, even though the variety of foods supplied may be quite restricted and consist primarily of junk food.” The food choices available to those who live in food deserts may be limited as a result of dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance or gluten allergies, among other things.

  • People who do not have access to larger chain stores with a wider variety of foods may also find it difficult to find foods that are culturally appropriate for them.
  • When compared to unhealthful meals, healthier options are typically more expensive, which is especially true in food deserts.
  • The increased cost of nutritious foods, on the other hand, frequently puts them out of reach for individuals on lower incomes, despite the fact that food inflation has stretched the food budgets of many families regardless of their financial situation.
  • Twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes was essentially nonexistent among persons under the age of 40.
  • In recent years, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased across all demographic groups; however, the highest increases have been seen in black and brown populations.
  • Additionally, these are the groups most likely to live in food deserts, and studies have found a clear link between food insecurity and an increase in the number of people who develop diabetes.

In order to explain this discrepancy, researchers emphasize that the high-calorie foods that are most readily available in food deserts put residents living in these areas at greater risk for diabetes in the first place, and that having limited access to healthy foods makes it more difficult for them to manage diabetes once they have been diagnosed with the disease.

  1. Diets heavy in unhealthy fats and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, such as the sorts of food typically found in food deserts, are one of the most significant contributors to cardiovascular disease.
  2. As a result of the higher incidence of obesity in food desert regions, even children and adolescents living in those areas are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (both now and when they become adults).
  3. As part of the “Let’s Move” program to battle kid obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama has set a goal of eliminating food deserts by 2017, with a $400 million government investment centered on granting tax advantages to supermarkets that establish in low-income neighborhoods.
  4. Chicago– In food deserts, more than 500,000 inhabitants (most of them are African-American) live, and an additional 400,000 live in areas where there are a disproportionate number of fast food outlets and no grocery shops in the immediate vicinity.

Along with offering fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, bulk whole grains and legumes, and soy-based meat alternatives, some of these supermarkets (such as Fresh Family Foods on Chicago’s South Side) also provide cooking and nutrition seminars to educate the public about choosing good food choices.

  • Los Angeles City Council enacted a ban on new fast food establishments in a 32-square-mile zone that encompasses some of the city’s most dry food deserts, an area in which around 97% of the population is either Latino, African-American, or of mixed racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • So far, these measures have been successful in bringing the first new grocery to South Los Angeles in more than a decade to the neighborhood.
  • It is estimated that 750,000 people in New York City live in food deserts, and that around three million people live in areas where fresh produce outlets are scarce or far away.
  • However, the disappearance of urban grocery stores has had the greatest impact on low-income communities, particularly those that are predominantly African-American (such as East/Central Harlem and Northern/Central Brooklyn).
  • In food deserts, hundreds of Green Carts have already been deployed, and the number is constantly expanding as potential vendors complete training, receive licenses, and obtain local approvals.
  • As soon as you discover that you live in a food desert, you may begin by educating individuals in your community about what this entails and brainstorming ideas for how to make a positive difference.
  • Bringing your thoughts and concerns to the attention of policymakers—city council members, state lawmakers, and so on—is equally vital.
See also:  What Is The Newest Food Truck Dessert

You can get in touch with us if you’re interested in utilizing the Food Empowerment Project’s survey, which served as the foundation for our study “Shaking a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF).” References: “Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences” is the title of a paper published in the journal Food Research and Technology.

  • Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • A study of neighborhood features linked with the placement of food stores and food service establishments was published in the journal “Neighborhood Characteristics Associated with the Location of Food Stores and Food Service Establishments” by K.
  • Wing et al.
  • 22(1), pages 23-29), the authors discuss Robert D.
  • In Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity, published by The MIT Press in 2007, p.
  • https://books.
  • (3/05/11) “It Isn’t Just Genetics,” says Bryan Walsh.

Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago is a paper written by Mari.

statistics on the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in the United States from 2003 to 2006 2 diabetes: Causes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2 diabetes: Causes.” CDC National Center for Health Statistics, 2010.

2011.

on the 17th of April, 2017 Newly diagnosed instances of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are on the rise among children and teenagers, according to data obtained on December 06, 2017.

Association for Type 2 Diabetes (A2D).

“Bringing Healthy Fare to Major City’s ‘Food Deserts.'” November 2009: Diabetes Predictions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Truth About Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the In-Between,” May 2010.

In 2015, Harvard Health Publications published an article on the topic.

lvlid=19(3/05/11) lvlid=19(3/05/11) The Office of Minority Health.

Estimates of the population are presented in “QuickFacts: Population Estimates.” As of July 1, 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.

Mari.

The LaSalle Bank commissioned the study, which was conducted in 2006.

“Would a Walmart be able to alleviate the food insecurity issues in West Oakland and Nashville?

In the year 2010, the Almanac of the City of Los Angeles was released.

A fast food intervention is staged in Los Angeles.

sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) sq=food percent 20deserts sq=food percent 20deserts sq=food percent 20deserts sq=food percent 20deserts sq=food percent 20deserts sq=food percent ‘In South Los Angeles, New Fast-Food Spots Get a ‘No, Thank You,'” Jennifer Medina writes in her piece.

(4/02/11) “Fresh Food for Urban Deserts” is the title of the project.

“Going to Market: New York City’s Neighborhood Grocery Store and Supermarket Shortage,” a report by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, was published in April.

C., Purciel-Hill, M., and colleagues Vol. 17(2), pages 696-700 in Health Place, March 2011. Jeff. “Can other cities follow New York’s lead in bringing veggie carts to food deserts?” According to the New York Times, the 11th of March, 2010.

Food Desert: Definition, Causes, and Statistics

In recognition of the problem with the term “food desert,” which according to the USDA is defined primarily by proximity to food providers without taking into account other factors such as racism, cost of living, people being time and cash poor, cultural appropriateness of available foods, people’s ability to grow their own foods and so on, the Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) has developed a model that incorporates all of these factors.

  • Food oppression and food apartheid are more appropriate names, according to the Food & Environment Project, but because food desert is the term that is most widely used, we have chosen to use it as our title.
  • For example, according to a study provided for Congress by the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, about 2.3 million persons (or 2.2 percent of all US families) live more than one mile distant from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle.
  • However, economic forces have driven grocery stores out of many cities in recent years, making them so few and far between that a single person’s food shopping trip may require taking several buses or trains.
  • The Food Empowerment Project’s paper, “Shaking a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF),” demonstrates that when depending on statistics collected by the United States government, it is possible to ignore areas that are located in food deserts.
  • According to the NAICS classification, little corner grocery stores are statistically mixed along with supermarkets such as Safeway, Whole Foods Market, and so on.
  • Furthermore, research have discovered that urban residents who shop for food at small neighborhood businesses pay between 3 and 37 percent more than suburbanites who shop for the same things at supermarkets.
  • For example, although the overall price of fruits and vegetables in the United States climbed by about 75% between 1989 and 2005, the price of fatty meals decreased by more than 26% during the same period.
  • However, the rising cost of healthful meals has placed them out of reach for many lower-income people.

Obesity, regardless of age, increases the likelihood of developing major, even deadly health problems (especially coronary heart disease and diabetes, which are the first and seventh leading causes of death in the United States, respectively): Between 1996 and 2007, the prevalence of diabetes among adults in the United States more than quadrupled, with “type 2 diabetes” (a variation of the illness that is frequently caused by obesity) accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases.

Only twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes was essentially unknown among those under the age of 40.

Among recent years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased across all demographic groups; however, the highest increases have been observed in black and brown populations.

These are also the populations that are most likely to live in food deserts, and studies have shown a clear link between food insecurity and an increase in the prevalence of diabetes.

Researchers explain this disparity by emphasizing that the high-calorie foods that are most readily available in food deserts put residents living in these areas at greater risk for diabetes in the first place, and that having limited access to healthy foods makes it more difficult for them to manage diabetes once they have been diagnosed.

  1. Diets heavy in unhealthy fats and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, such as the sorts of food typically found in food deserts, are one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  2. As a result of the higher incidence of obesity in food desert regions, even children and adolescents living in those areas are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (both now and when they reach maturity).
  3. On a national level, First Lady Michelle Obama has sponsored the “Let’s Move” program to battle kid obesity, which includes a goal of eradicating food deserts by 2017 with a $400 million government investment centered on granting tax benefits to supermarkets that establish in food deserts.
  4. Chicago– More than 500,000 people (most of whom are African-American) live in food deserts, while another 400,000 people live in communities where there are a disproportionate number of fast food outlets and no grocery stores nearby.

In addition to selling fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, bulk whole grains and legumes, and soy-based meat alternatives, some of these stores (such as Fresh Family Foods on Chicago’s South Side) also provide cooking and nutrition seminars to educate the public on choosing good food choices.

  • Because fewer fast food businesses were available, there was a larger demand for additional and better food options.
  • So far, these strategies have been successful in delivering the first new supermarket to South Los Angeles in about a decade.
  • In New York City, an estimated 750,000 people live in food deserts, while over three million people live in areas where grocery shops that sell fresh produce are few and far between.
  • However, the disappearance of urban grocery stores has had the greatest impact on low-income communities, particularly those that are predominantly African-American (such as East/Central Harlem and North/Central Brooklyn).
  • In food deserts, hundreds of Green Carts have already been deployed, and the number is constantly expanding as potential sellers complete training, receive licenses and obtain permissions from the city.
  • If you notice that you are living in a food desert, you might begin by educating individuals in your community on what this implies and discussing possible solutions.
  • It is also critical to communicate your views and concerns to policymakers, such as municipal council members, state lawmakers, and others.

If you are interested in using the Food Empowerment Project’s survey, which served as the foundation for our study, “Shaking a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF),” please get in touch with us.

Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, 2009.

“It Isn’t Just Genetics,” says the author.

“Neighborhood features linked with the placement of food shops and food service establishments,” by K., S.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a new issue in January 2002, with pages 23-29.

is an American businessman who lives in New York City (editor).

The MIT Press, 2007.

173.ttp: The following URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=NAcmSchlTOYC pg=PA173 lpg=PA173 dq=It+has.

The date is June 12th, 2008.

LaSalle Bank commissioned the research.

“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2 diabetes: Causes.” CDC National Center for Health Statistics.

and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Mayo Clinic published “Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011” in 2011.

(17th of April, 2017) According to a report published on December 6, 2017, the number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and teenagers is increasing.

“Bringing Healthy Fare to Big-City ‘Food Deserts,'” writes Andrew.

“There is an unbreakable link between food insecurity and diabetes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Truth About Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the In-Between.” California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, May 2010.

This information was derived from “Disease and African Americans.” The Office of Minority Health.

lvlid=19(3/05/11) The Office of Minority Health “QuickFacts: Population Estimates,” according to the website.

Obesity.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) published a report in 2008 titled “We’ve all taken a stand.” The White House Blog, posted on February 20, 2010.

“Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago,” according to the research.

Stephanie.

Kim.

sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) “In South Los Angeles, New Fast-Food Spots Get a ‘No, Thanks,'” writes Jennifer Medina.

A report published in The New York Times on March 20, 2009, with the sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11) “Going to Market: The Neighborhood Grocery Store and Supermarket Shortage in New York City.” “Measuring food deserts in New York City’s low-income areas,” New York City Department of City Planning, 2008.

Vol. 17(2), pages 697–700. Jeff. “Can other cities follow New York’s lead in deploying veggie carts in food deserts?” The New York Times, published on March 11, 2010.

Food Desert Definition

Food deserts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are “areas where people lack inexpensive access to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and other items that make up the entire spectrum of a nutritious diet.” The operative term in that description is “access,” which can be hampered or limited by a variety of circumstances, including poverty, geographic location, time constraints, and the capacity to travel to a retail establishment.

The particular criteria for what constitutes a food desert might differ from one region to the next.

Individual barriers: A person’s own unique restrictions that may prevent them from accessing healthy food, such as not enough time in their schedule or a lack of necessary funds to purchase food.

Neighborhood indicators: Factors such as the availability of dependable and affordable public transit, as well as whether or not the average neighborhood income is near or below the poverty line, are taken into consideration.

Causes

The United States Department of Agriculture publishes a useful atlas that can assist visitors in identifying food deserts around the country. If we take the state of Ohio as an example, there are clusters of what may be termed food deserts in and around large cities such as Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, as well as in and around smaller cities and villages throughout the state. The existence of food deserts, despite the number of stores and services in big cities, is still a possibility because customers lack the financial means to purchase nutritious foods.

As a result, food deserts are a problem that affects people all around the country, not only in rural or low-population areas.

Despite the fact that these deserts are bordered by places that are not classified as deserts by the USDA, those who live in these locations may not have the capacity to travel to areas where food is readily accessible.

See also:  Dessert Tortoise How Long Is Food Supposed To Be In Tank

Statistics

According to the USDA, little more than 6 percent of the population of the United States lives in “low-income and poor access areas” that are more than one mile or ten miles from a grocery store. Furthermore, according to the USDA, 9.2 percent of people residing in the United States do not have access to a personal car of their own. Important to know about food deserts is that they have been shown to be associated with poor nutrition outcomes. In situations where individuals do not have access to nutritious meals, for whatever reason, they may resort to harmful alternatives such as fast food restaurants.

This can be most noticeable in food deserts, as the name implies. Individuals who have inadequate nutrition may also be at greater risk for developing other major health disorders, such as heart disease and cancer.

Resources for Individuals Living in Food Deserts

Despite growing public awareness of food deserts and the potential harm they can cause, creating long-term remedies is not an easy task. Nonetheless, there are steps that may be taken to assist.

Nutrition Education Resources

Individuals living in food deserts may benefit from learning about the advantages of maintaining appropriate nutrition. Additionally, persons who have spent a large portion of their life in food deserts may be unaware of the proper methods for maintaining a nutritious diet. In addition to providing a list of health and nutrition suggestions that might be beneficial to individuals who live in food deserts, Healthline also provides an online resource for persons who live in food deserts. Individuals who live in food deserts can accomplish a variety of objectives, such as avoiding consuming sugary drinks, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and engaging in regular exercise, despite the fact that they may not have regular access to nutritious food.

Grocery Shopping and Diet Planning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States provides a variety of tools to assist persons in maintaining healthy nutrition. Tips for Making Healthier Food Selections While Food Shopping, issued by the FDA, include examining serving sizes, balancing calories, and selecting canned or frozen veggies, which may be less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables, among other things. Susannah Sneider, writing for U.S. News & World Report, also highlights numerous methods that might help folks save money while grocery shopping, including how to use coupons.

Exercise and Fitness

Individuals who live in food deserts may find it difficult to refrain from consuming unhealthy foods. However, there are still methods for people to exercise and work in order to maintain their health. Physical activity, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, can help people regulate their weight, lose fat, relieve stress, and do a variety of other things. Given that living in a food desert might raise the chance of developing health problems such as diabetes, exercise can be beneficial in this situation as well.

Resources for Communities and Organizations

Food desert residents who lack the money or skills to get good and nutritious food have a significant chance to be helped by their communities and organizations, according to the USDA.

Helping Those in Poverty Find Food

In some cases, people who live in food deserts may already be registered in or be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, depending on their income level (SNAP). Those with limited financial resources might benefit from this program, which gives monies to be utilized for food purchases. A research, according to the HealthyPeople.govwebsite, “showed that a little financial incentive enhanced the usage of SNAP benefits in participating farmers markets, resulting in improved access to nutritious foods.” This sort of approach was effective in addressing the special challenge of lower-income folks who, despite their wish to eat more nutritiously, may not have the financial means to acquire such food products.

Additionally, food banks and pantries are valuable resources for individuals who live in food deserts since they may supply nutritional foods to those in need.

Healthy food may be donated and delivered to residents’ homes by organizations such asMeals on Wheels and Food Rescue US for individuals who are unable to get to sites where healthy meals are sold.

Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

A number of services are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can assist people who live in food deserts in increasing their access to healthful foods. Improved quality, variety, and quantity of healthier foods and drinks at existing establishments; and promoting and marketing healthier foods and beverages to consumers are all examples of healthier food retail (HFR) programs. Additional initiatives mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include increasing access to healthier foods in smaller stores, developing transportation options to allow people to travel to food locations, and developing development guidelines for mobile retailers of healthy foods.

Educating Individuals About the Importance of Nutritious Eating

A number of services are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can assist people who live in food deserts in improving their access to nutritious meals. One resource is healthier food retail (HFR) initiatives, which can include “creating new food retail outlets that sell healthier foods; improving the quality, variety, and amount of healthier foods and beverages available at existing stores; and promoting and marketing healthier foods and beverages to consumers,” according to the USDA.

Stop Food Deserts and Ensure Healthy Eating

Dealing with food deserts across the United States is a complicated subject that does not have simple answers. Increasing the number of grocery shops, increasing the number of public transportation alternatives, and finding ways to assist citizens in earning more money to spend on nutritious foods are all challenging tasks for towns and cities to do. Despite this, there are still practical strategies that may be used to assist those who live in food deserts in eating a healthy and nutritious diet.

Source The Department of Health and Human Services (U.S.

What Are Food Deserts?

What you eat, and how much of it you consume, can have a significant influence on your long-term health. Healthy eating habits are essential in the prevention of a wide range of diseases. Healthy eating guidelines have been in place for decades, encouraging families to consume more healthy meals such as fruits and vegetables while avoiding junk or processed foods such as chips and fast restaurant cheeseburgers. Elvis Batiz / Photo courtesy of Flickr However, for many families in the United States, things are not quite so straightforward.

These places, which are referred to as food deserts, are a severe environmental health concern that can have long-term consequences for the lives of families.

Definition

While there is no universally accepted definition, food deserts are typically understood to be areas where inhabitants do not have easy access to inexpensive nutritional foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as other staples. As a substitute for grocery shops or farmers’ markets, these regions frequently feature convenience stores and petrol stations with minimal shelf space available for healthy selections, making nutritious meals practically unattainable for many families that live in these neighborhoods.

  1. People’s ability to get healthy food selections might be hindered by a lack of financial and other resources (such as transportation).
  2. It is likely that the neighbor who drives frequently will have more alternatives when it comes to grocery shopping than his neighbor next door.
  3. After all, $50 worth of packaged meals and frozen dinners may frequently provide a family with a supper that lasts longer than $50 worth of fresh veggies and lean proteins.
  4. A food desert might be difficult to define precisely because of this.
  5. If you live more than 0.5 or one mile away from a supermarket, grocery store, or other sources of healthy, inexpensive food, you live in a food desert.
  6. Beyond geographic proximity, the department considered additional considerations such as low-income status and availability of a car.

Locations

When most public health professionals talk about food deserts, they’re usually talking to metropolitan surroundings – inner cities, for example, where higher land prices might deter many potential grocers from setting up shop there. However, whereas metropolitan regions account for around 82 percent of all food deserts, rural towns are not entirely exempt. As reported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), around 335,000 people in the country live more than 20 miles from a supermarket.

Food deserts are more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods, which are often the worst harmed by them.

According to the USDA, over half of all low-income zip codes (i.e., those with a median income of less than $25,000) qualify as food deserts.

Who Lives There

Low-income folks, particularly those who do not have access to a vehicle or who reside in distant rural locations, frequently have the most difficulty obtaining nutritious foods. For these folks, acquiring nutritious foods necessitates a longer drive to obtain them. That is, of course, assuming that driving is even an option at this point. According to the USDA, more than two million households living in food deserts do not have access to a motor vehicle. The cost of groceries is higher for residents of urban food deserts than for households living in the suburbs.

Despite the fact that lower-income families already devote a bigger proportion of their income to food purchases, living in a food desert implies that a salary will not stretch nearly as far as it would in locations where fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are more readily available.

Food deserts are also more likely than other locations to have the following characteristics:

  • More minority residents
  • Higher rates of unoccupied dwellings
  • Higher rates of unemployment
  • Lower levels of education among residents
  • Smaller population sizes.

Higher concentrations of ethnic people; higher rates of unoccupied dwellings; higher unemployment rates; lower levels of education among residents; smaller population sizes

Impact on Health

Ironically, obesity is the most serious public health risk associated with food deserts. Given the fact that those who don’t have easy access to good foods are more likely to eat less healthfully than those who do, this makes sense. A person’s weight increases as a result of poor eating habits, which in turn leads to obesity. Being considerably overweight or obese raises a person’s risk for a wide range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, among other things.

  • Excessive weight may even raise your chance of developing cancer, according to one study, which estimated that 481,000 new cancer cases were diagnosed globally in 2012 as a result of being overweight or obese.
  • Aside from obesity, poor eating habits throughout a kid’s first few years of life can have a substantial impact on the ability of the child to develop.
  • Nutritional deficiencies in nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, and iodine have been associated to cognitive issues, weakened immune systems, and stunted growth in children and adolescents.
  • The chance of having a child born with potentially catastrophic birth abnormalities increases for babies born to mothers who do not obtain enough folate throughout the first trimester of their pregnancy.
  • Another issue that is sometimes disregarded when discussing food deserts is the danger they bring to people who have dietary restrictions or food allergies.
  • In the United States, around 200,000 people require emergency medical care each year after inhaling or drinking something they are allergic to.
  • Even while studies have identified substantial associations between a lack of supermarkets and health problems like as obesity, current research is beginning to suggest that the relationship may be far more convoluted than previously thought.

Low income and low educational attainment have also been associated to obesity outside of the setting of food deserts, and some recent research has suggested that socioeconomic status may be a more relevant factor in nutritional outcomes than access to a grocery store in some situations.

What Can Be Done?

Food deserts have been on the radar of public health departments for some time now, and many have already begun implementing strategies and policies to deliver fresh fruit and other nutritious foods to areas that are currently without access to these resources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises numerous ways to address and avoid food deserts, including:

  • Creating communal gardens
  • Establishing local farmers markets
  • And other initiatives Increasing public transit options from food deserts to established markets. Changing municipal laws and tax rules in order to encourage supermarkets and other healthy food shops to open their doors

However, making inexpensive nutritious food more accessible is only one component of the answer. If low-income communities had better access to higher-quality food, according to one estimate, the disparity in nutritional status would be reduced by nine percent. Why? Because while building supermarkets in formerly food desert areas may provide better food alternatives to the community, it does not necessarily result in a shift in people’s food-purchasing behavior. Families that relocate to an area where healthy eating is the norm and where healthy foods are readily available do not suffer from this problem.

  1. Creating a menu of items that the entire family can like takes time, as many parents will agree, and upsetting that habit will need much more than simply constructing a store nearby.
  2. Food is a very cultural and personal experience for everyone.
  3. In order to effect any significant change, nutrition education should be developed with these traditions in mind, while also taking care to respect the deeply ingrained cultural norms that exist in every group, as described above.
  4. Getting families to join in a community garden, for example, would not be possible in a neighborhood where many adults work several jobs and have little spare time to contribute.
See also:  When Were Dessert Food Popular

Food Deserts vs. Food Swamps

Following the revelations concerning food deserts, some nutritional gap researchers are moving their attention away from a lack of healthy food alternatives and toward an abundance of bad food options instead. These locations, which have been termed “food swamps,” are not only devoid of grocery shops, but they are also densely packed with fast food restaurants and convenience stores. These locations have been associated to worse diets, and the existence of these places may be an even better predictor of obesity rates than the absence of supermarkets, since the in-your-face availability of bad food alternatives effectively negates any benefits that an increase in grocery shops may provide.

While some communities have focused their efforts on attracting grocery shops, others have attempted to go where people already buy for groceries, encouraging corner stores and petrol stations to devote more shelf space to inexpensive, fresh fruit.

Another option is to put up mobile farmers’ markets that look like food trucks that can be driven out to hard-to-reach places so that locals don’t have to go out of their way to get nutritious foods.

A Word From Verywell

Understanding that every community is unique and, as a result, will require a unique combination of measures for solving both food deserts and food swamps is critical to effectively addressing both. It may seem nice in principle, but opening a food shop in every community may prove to be unfeasible or unneeded in fact, depending on the circumstances. Helping families find nutritious, cheap, and practical meals will necessitate the development of novel solutions, but it is critical to the preservation and improvement of the health of communities for future generations.

Food Deserts: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

Food deserts are places where residents have limited access to nutritious, inexpensive meals ( 1 ,2). Food deserts, also known as healthy food priority regions, are concentrated in low-income and historically disadvantaged areas throughout the United States, with the majority of them located in low-income and historically marginalized communities ( 1 ,2,3, 4 ). Food deserts are areas where healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, peas, beans, meat, and fish are either prohibitively costly or impossible to get.

Food deserts are discussed in this article, including their causes, health consequences, and proposed solutions.

Public policy and economic activities that are rooted in systemic racism are frequently implicated in this phenomenon.

In low-income and historically marginalized communities, problems such as food poverty, social determinants of health, racial residential segregation, and limited access to transportation are all variables that contribute to health inequalities ( 1 , 7 ,8,9).

Food apartheid

Food deserts are areas where people have limited access to nutritious, cheap meals, according to the USDA ( 1 ,2). Food deserts, also known as healthy food priority regions, are concentrated in low-income and historically disadvantaged areas throughout the United States, with the majority of them located in low-income and historically marginalized communities ( 1 ,2,3, 4 ). Healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, peas and beans, meat and fish are either unavailable or prohibitively costly in food deserts.

Food deserts are discussed in this article, along with their causes, health consequences, and possible solutions.

In many instances, public policy and economic practices that are rooted in systematic racism are used to further the cause.

In low-income and historically marginalized communities, variables such as food poverty, socioeconomic determinants of health, racial residential segregation, and limited access to transportation all play a role ( 1 , 7 ,8,9).

Food insecurity

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 17.4 million American families were food insecure in 2014, according to their estimations (9). Food security is defined as the availability of adequate healthy foods to all people at all times, both physically and economically. It is food insecurity that happens when this access is disturbed or constrained (10). Temporary food insecurity, such as running out of food for a day or two, can lead to long-term food insecurity as demonstrated by chronic poverty and limited access to food (10).

Social determinants of health

The social determinants of health are elements that are out of your control, such as access to healthcare or transportation, and that have an impact on your overall health and well-being. These elements have a significant influence in the development of food deserts (11). Income, community infrastructure, and access to supermarkets are all factors that impact the availability of nutritious meals. Other socioeconomic determinants of health that may play a role in the development of food deserts include as follows (1, 8, 11, 12):

  • Education, employment, and job training, socioeconomic status and concentrated poverty, access to healthcare, access to local food markets and fresh produce, access to transportation, racial segregation, and public safety are all important considerations.

Food deserts are characterized by health inequalities that include high prevalence of chronic illnesses among historically marginalized and low-income populations, as well as high incidence of obesity and diabetes ( 1 ,2, 7 ,11).

Racial segregation

Low-income neighborhoods contain a disproportionately large number of Black and Latino people, who are disproportionately disadvantaged by inadequate food availability ( 1 , 7 ,9). It has been demonstrated repeatedly that racial segregation places historically underprivileged communities, notably Black people, in economically depressed neighborhoods ( 7 ,9). In 2016, as compared to the national average, Black families were two times more likely to be food insecure, and Hispanic households had a higher incidence of food insecurity than other ethnic groups in the United States (9).

Transportation and proximity to supermarkets

The distance between supermarkets in food deserts is greater than the distance between supermarkets in affluent communities ( 7 , 12 ). Furthermore, mostly Black and Hispanic communities have fewer supermarkets and local food markets — which generally offer inexpensive and healthy produce — than predominantly white neighborhoods, according to the Urban Institute ( 1 ,6, 7 ,9, 12 ,13). Families in food deserts, as a result, do not have equitable access to the nutritious foods that are available to white and affluent neighborhoods (6).

  1. Essentially, food deserts are a result of food apartheid, and its underlying causes include food instability, racial segregation, closeness to supermarkets, access to transportation, and a variety of other socioeconomic variables.
  2. The number of food insecure families in the United States was projected to be 71.4 million in 2014, with 31.6 percent of low-income households experiencing food insecurity in 2016.
  3. It is possible to view an interactive map showing food insecurity, socioeconomic circumstances, and proximity to supermarkets on the Food Environment Atlas, which was established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (14).
  4. However, only Nevada, New York, and Rhode Island saw a significant increase in the percentage of households experiencing very low food insecurity (14).
  5. Residents of the United States’ Southwest, Midwest, Northwest, and Florida regions have limited access to grocery shops, but families without access to a car and limited food availability are more typical in the Northeast and Southeast (14).
  6. Overall, food deserts are projected to be common throughout the United States.
  7. Diet and nutrition have a significant impact in the development of chronic illness (15, 16 ).
  8. Reduced availability to inexpensive, healthful meals among low-income and food-insecure areas adds to poor nutrition and maintains health inequities, resulting in increased incidence of obesity and other chronic diseases among these populations ( 1 , 7 ,9,13,15, 16 ,17, 18 ).

People with chronic conditions who live in food deserts may become trapped in a vicious cycle in which they rely on convenience stores and corner stores, which typically sell pricey items with little nutritional value, thus reducing their ability to purchase nutritious foods in the future ( 18 ).

Understanding food deserts as a kind of food apartheid not only tackles their underlying causes, but it also calls into question the quality of the remedies that are frequently offered as a result.

Simply expanding access to low-cost food does not result in more equitable access to inexpensive and nutritious foods for everybody (13).

Maintaining a focus on the fact that significant structural and policy reforms are required in order to achieve equitable food access Nonetheless, you may begin working on community-based solutions to enhance access to inexpensive healthful foods in food deserts as early as today ( 7 , 20 ).

Community gardens

Community gardens not only help to create green areas and beautify the neighborhood, but they also provide fresh, nutritious produce and inspire people to eat more healthfully. Aside from that, they provide fundamental skills and information about environmental issues such as planting techniques and where food comes from. Finally, communal gardens have the potential to encourage people to invest in their own health.

Farmers markets, arabbers, and roadside carts

Community gardens not only help to create green areas and beautify the neighborhood, but they also supply fresh, nutritious fruit and encourage people to eat more healthily. Aside from that, they provide fundamental skills and information about environmental issues, planting techniques, and the sources of food. Finally, community gardens may encourage people to invest in their own health by growing their own vegetables.

Surplus food sharing

Food sharing partnerships and alliances may help to balance out food waste from wealthier communities with limited food availability in food deserts, so promoting more efficient food economies and reducing food waste. Food rescue groups will even accept food that would otherwise be thrown out at grocery stores owing to flaws or physical abnormalities — but that is still perfectly edible — and resale it at a reasonable price to those who cannot afford it.

Federal resources for low-income people to get healthy foods

  • SNAP provides cash support to low-income households while also providing nutritional benefits. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides monthly nutrition packages, incentives for nursing mothers, and benefits for children under the age of five. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) provides support to low-income older persons who are suffering from hunger in their communities.

Nongovernmental food assistance programs

  • The provision of medically customized meal delivery and nutrition instruction by Meals on Wheels and other groups such as Moveable Feast is intended to promote racial, socioeconomic, and health justice. In a number of locations throughout the world, Food Not Bombs delivers free vegetarian and vegan dinners. Wholesome Wave collaborates with neighborhood groups to alleviate food insecurity and give nutritious food to those in need of assistance. Low-income populations can get food through food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks operated by religious or community organizations, which helps to alleviate food insecurity and hunger.

The provision of medically customized meal delivery and nutrition instruction by Meals on Wheels and other groups such as Moveable Feast is intended to promote racial, socioeconomic, and health equity; In several locations throughout the world, Food Not Bombs delivers free vegetarian and vegan dinners. We at Wholesome Wave collaborate with neighborhood groups to reduce hunger and give nutritious meals to those in need. Low-income populations can get food via food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks sponsored by religious or community organizations, which helps to minimize food insecurity and hunger in the neighborhood.

How to improve your nutrition on a budget

No matter how tight your budget is or where you live, there are different methods to consume healthy foods on a limited budget or without access to high-quality, fresh produce. Here are a few examples (23):

  • Invest on canned or frozen foods. Fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables are more expensive than canned or frozen foods, but they are also more nutritious and last longer when compared to fresh alternatives. When feasible, choose canned foods that are low in sodium. Nonmeat protein sources can also be considered. For many people, meat represents a significant component of their food expenditures, particularly in the winter. Dried peas and beans have the same amount of protein as meat, but they are less expensive and stay longer. Foods that are in season should be purchased. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, in-season product is simpler to come by and less expensive than out-of-season stuff. Visit roadside booths or other local markets to purchase small amounts of fresh vegetables if they are available in your region in order to reduce food waste. Leftovers should be frozen. Freeze leftovers for reheating later in the week to save money and reduce food waste. It is also possible to reuse leftovers. Take, for example, ordinary rice leftover from Sunday supper, which may be transformed into veggie rice for Monday or Tuesday.

For those on a tight budget, storing leftovers, increasing your intake of peas and beans, purchasing canned foods, and shopping for in-season vegetables are all effective techniques for saving money while still eating healthy. If you are suffering from hunger, you can contact the USDA’s National Hunger Hotline. Food deserts, which are areas where healthy food is either difficult to get or prohibitively costly, are most common in low-income and historically disenfranchised groups. The high rates of food insecurity, racial and health inequities, as well as the high incidence of chronic illnesses, distinguish these communities.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *