Food Deserts: Community Analysis

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Introduction There is an increasing number of individuals living in urban areas and low-income neighborhoods, along with an increasing number of food deserts in the US. When comparing and contrasting rural and urban areas, there are significantly more differences. One important difference being the access the community has to healthy food. Throughout the readings this semester and further research, it is evident that neighborhoods classifying as a food desert have less access to nutritious food which is due to many factors, but that overall decreased accessibility is correlated to health problems. We have learned how food deserts are a determinant of health and affects areas that are primarily populated with low income minority groups. There …show more content…
Overall, the phrase food desert has been used to define an area where the individuals have much less access to healthy food choices, therefore the residents are forced to live off unhealthy food. The lack of nutrition in the diets of individuals living in a food desert is correlated to negative health problems such as obesity (Larson, Story & Nelson, 2008). There was a greater prevalence of food deserts in rural black communities as opposed to suburban white communities highlighted (Walker, Keane & Burke, 2010). Additionally, another study found food insecurity effecting ethnic minority cancer patients (Gany et al., 2015). It is clear that minority groups are more frequently found living in a food desert, but no matter the racial or ethnic group, the effect of living there is effecting one’s health. Each article conveys different impacts a food desert has, such as the relationship between quality of food and weight (Larson, Story & Nelson, 2008), food insecurity and quality of life (Gany et al., 2015), and even increasing the poverty rate (Miller et al., 2016), all of which progress and directly affect an individuals’ health. As the study of food deserts has progressed, there has been more research regarding interventions that are effective and future plans to prevent more urban areas becoming …show more content…
In this case the environment is lacking access to healthy food within a relative proximity or all together, which is negatively affecting the community. The prevalence of a food desert is associated with the health disparity surrounding access to quality food and negative health outcomes. “Neighborhood disparities in access to food are of great concern” (Larson, Story & Nelson, 2008) because of the negative associations. A particular area can become classified as a food desert because of various reasons. One reason being the rapid expansion of large chain supermarkets forcing the smaller, neighborhood stores that are more conveniently located to close (Walker, Keane & Burke, 2010). Most of the new large chain supermarkets are not opening within the community, but at a further distance that requires transportation to reach. It is common for individuals in low income, minority communities, especially those that are a food desert, to not have their own car. Therefore, if the only source of healthy food is within the large supermarkets that are located at a distance and the smaller neighborhood grocery stores close, the “consequence of poor supermarket access is that residents have increased exposure to energy-dense food (‘empty calorie’ food) readily available at convenience stores and fast-food restaurants” (Walker, Keane & Burke,

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