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Food Deserts. What is a Food Desert? Definition: Low-income communities without ready access to healthy and affordable food –Effects 23.5 million Americans.

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Presentation on theme: "Food Deserts. What is a Food Desert? Definition: Low-income communities without ready access to healthy and affordable food –Effects 23.5 million Americans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Food Deserts

2 What is a Food Desert? Definition: Low-income communities without ready access to healthy and affordable food –Effects 23.5 million Americans (including 6.5 million children) Occurs both in urban and rural areas – Linked with poor diet, higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases (ex. diabetes) »People eat what’s convenient and affordable, which often means fast food

3 Consequences of Food Deserts Linked with poor diet, higher levels of obesity and other diet- related diseases (ex. diabetes) People eat what’s convenient and affordable, which often means fast food Data reports from the FRAC suggest that there are: A lack of grocery stores A high cost associated with “good” food An easy availability of fast food Combine to create an ideal environment for poor nutrition in low-income areas.

4 no car and no supermarket store within a mile June million people do not have access to a car and live more than a mile from a supermarket (5 miles in rural areas)

5 This map colors each county in America by the percentage of households in food deserts

6 Clustered mostly in Appalachia, the Deep South, and on Indian reservations

7 Food Atlas Data Low income and greater than one mile to a grocery store.

8 NYC Food Deserts 2008 study conducted by the New York City Department of City Planning –3 million New Yorkers live in “high-need neighborhoods” (not enough supermarkets and too many health problems) –Called for a 20% increase in new grocery stores Food bought at discount stores & pharmacies where there’s no fresh produce »“In our study, a significant percentage of [people in low-income neighborhoods] reported that in the day before our survey, they had not eaten fresh fruit or vegetables. Not one. That really is a health crisis in the city” »http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/supermarket/index.shtmlhttp://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/supermarket/index.shtml

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10 Wal-Mart Plan Wal-Mart: –Plans to build or expand stores (by 2016) in underserved areas, promising access to healthy fresh food. –The retailer is promising to reformulate “everyday packaged food items” to reduce sodium by 25% and added sugars by 10%. –All trans-fats in products sold at Wal-Mart will be removed from products by 2015 (this is potentially huge because it will affect many national brands as well) –Will introduce a new front of pack nutrition label in Q to help consumers make healthier choices

11 Partnership for a Healthier America Note the picture from a Walgreens Pharmacy below. Select Walgreens locations are beginning to carry more amounts of fresh produce to meet community needs and provide nutritional meals.

12 NYC Food deserts Lack of supermarkets and high rates of diabetes are correlated and concentrated in minority and poor neighborhoods

13 NYC Food deserts (contd.) Lack of supermarkets and high rates of diabetes are correlated and concentrated in minority and poor neighborhoods

14 Food Desert locator The Food Desert Locator is project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research ServiceFood Desert Locator –Spatial overview of low-income neighborhoods with high concentrations of people who are far away from a grocery store Can map food deserts and view census tract-level statistics on population groups with low access to healthy food »Pairs nicely with the Food Environment AtlasFood Environment Atlas

15 Case Study: Chicago 2009, South Side of Chicago

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18 Danbury, Stamford, Waterbury, west haven (CT); Long Island (NY)

19 Ithaca (NY), western NY & Northern PA

20 Newport News & Williamsburg (VA)

21 The “four corners”

22 Food Desert Analysis What are the environmental, political, social, cultural and economic effects of food deserts? What are the causes and consequences of food deserts in low- income areas?

23 Ex. Political, Economic First Lady is addressing the issue as part of her “Let’s Move!” Initiative –Latest news (July 20, 2011) –Expanding access to fresh food –Creating jobs »SUPERVALU(6,0 00), Walgreens, Walmart (40,000)

24 Ex. Political, ECONOMIC Rahm Emanuel –Has made eradicating food deserts a major priority as mayor of Chicago Held the city’s 1 st “Food Desert Summit” last month (June 13, 2011)

25 Questions for debate How much does where you live determine what and how you eat? What role do you think inequality (race, gender, social class, age, etc.) plays? Would developing more grocery stores in “food deserts” be a key to healthier eating in those communities? What are the positive and negative effects of encouraging large retailers like Walmart to expand their reach in food deserts? –What would you propose to get people in low-income neighborhoods to eat healthier?

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