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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pulling the Rug...

There are no shortages of reasons given for the obesity “epidemic” here in America. Sugar soda consumption, long hours sitting in from of a computer or television and easy access to junk foods are some of the more common reasons given by the experts.

Another reason heralded by the same experts in recent years has been the idea of food desserts. A food dessert is a community where obesity rates are high but access to healthy food is low. These are typically reported to be in poorer neighborhoods among those who have limited access to transportation. Thus with limited financial and travel resources to get healthy foods residents of the community resort to eating readily available unhealthy foods from convenience stores and fast food establishments. This according to experts is the case.

However a couple of recent studies show a much brighter picture. One study by the RAND Corporation a nonprofit research institute found that rather than being food desserts these neighborhoods should be called food swamps because of the many available food options. In other words the very idea of food desserts has been a fabrication of those in the health misinformation industry whose job it is to protect their job.

An article appearing in the New York Times about these findings lamented:

Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data.

Why is this the case when billions and billions of tax payer dollars are spent annually on healthy promotion and healthy eating campaigns? The truth is what I have been writing about for nearly a decade. That is some people are fat and others are thin. Some people will get diabetes and others will not though they follow a similar diet pattern. More importantly all people regardless of where they live, what their financial status is and whether they have access to transportation will eat what they like.

Incidentally the US Department of Agriculture report on food desserts found that few areas in our nation met the strict qualification of a food dessert. One of those areas that qualifies is the neighborhood where I live just miles from several large grocery stores.
  



USDA food dessert report http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/AP/AP036/AP036fm.pdf

1 comment:

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