Food Desert Research Paper

Food For Thought
Beginning in the early two thousands, the term “food deserts” came into usage as a way of describing “neighborhoods… with inadequate physical or economic access to healthy food” (Leete, L., Bania, N. & Sparks-Ibanga, 2012, p. 204). It is now popularly understood that food deserts exist in urban areas all across the developed world. Meaning, it is very difficult or impossible for individuals to obtain fresh produce. The majority of these areas do not have grocery stores and are restricted to corner stores, fast food restaurants and gas stations. Families are then forced to get their meals from these locations because they either do not have a car, or the closest grocery store is very far away. You will want to note though that
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13-16). Lack of supermarkets but an abundance of fast food restaurants are common in these areas occupied by these groups. Occupants of food deserts have especially limited access to grocery stores, and supermarkets where retailers offer a wide variety of food. Consequently they are left relying on convenience stores, and fast food chains to provide them with a balanced diet, where fresh fruit, vegetables, and fresh produce is not available (Ornels, 2010) . Farmers markets located near these communities, are often too expensive, This then leads them to unhealthier options. Other barriers to shopping include economic reasons, food quality issues in the lower income communities, and lack of variety. Although limited amounts of supermarkets or farmers markets may be located in poor urban areas, the quality and cost are not feasible for many in these …show more content…
Visibly, the most obvious issue with an unhealthy diet is weight gain, (Tajik, Esra, 2015), and although this issue is not directly a mental issue, it is directly responsible for many mental health issues. Obesity, in some cases, can lead to body image problems that can perpetuate into disorders such as, bulimia anorexia or depression. Multiple studies have confirmed that there is a higher incidence of low self-esteem among adolescents who are overweight and obese compared to those with a regular body mass index. (Lee & Yen, 2014). “The period with the greatest prevalence of eating disorders is between 12 and 25 years of age.” (Goñi* Alfredo). With adolescents being the ones with the highest risk of developing disorders due to eating such as bulimia, anorexia or binge eating, it can be dangerous for them to live in a food desert. Aside from their mental health, a child’s diet can also affect performance in school and their interactions with others. A study found that overweight children, compared to average-weight children,may have a lower quality of life in areas of school functioning, social life, and emotional and physical health. (Lee & Yen, 2014). With a decrease in school functioning, effects of a child’s eating habits can potentially carry through to adulthood and later periods in their lives. If food deserts

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