Food Deserts and Obesity

There are critical issues in the Chicago area when speaking in terms of food deserts and the correlation it has to obesity. This issue is much more evident within the poverty zones of Chicago. The lack of supermarkets with healthy foods in an area limits the options people have in their diet. In fact, sometimes the only opportunities for food within a reasonable distance is the very common fast food places we see everywhere. These foods are incredibly unhealthy and put many people at risk of obesity. One of my sources even states “Families in predominantly minority and low-income neighborhoods have limited access to supermarkets and fresh produce. Greater accessibility to supermarkets is consistently linked to lower rates of overweight and obesity.”

The solution shouldn’t be that difficult either. The city government needs to step in and provide more supermarkets in these food deserts which are seen more prominently in Latino and Black communities. We need to be more efficient and allow for healthier foods for all people, not just the privileged. We also shouldn’t allow globalized fast food companies like McDonald’s to make their profit while hurting their customers. They should be required to practice safer foods as well. After all, they’re a globalization affecting people all over the world, not just in Chicago.

Once more supermarkets are built and accessible for all people, including minorities, there will be an increase in physical health allowing people to have a better quality life. No person deserves to die of a heart attack due to a clogged artery which originated from a lifetime’s amount of fast food.





One thought on “Food Deserts and Obesity

  1. I find this topic very interesting. It is very strange that over time, no grocer company has seen food deserts as a goldmine for potential profits. To me, I don’t understand why a grocer such as Jewel wouldn’t want to come into a neighborhood with zero competition and provide produce to customers who would welcome the store with open arms. In addition to the potential customers and profits, finding employees would be very easy. Many communities that classify as food deserts have high unemployment numbers. If the a grocery store were to open in these neighborhoods, they would have deep hiring pool, with many people being very grateful for having a job.

    I also find it puzzling as to how the city can encourage grocer companies from opening stores in food deserts. One idea that I came up with is tax deductions for companies who decide to do business in these ares. For example, a construction company would pay little to no taxes on building a store, while the grocer could have the incentive of not paying property taxes for 5~ years of it’s opening. These money saving incentives could potentially create new grocery stores all over Chicago, thus creating jobs and economic growth in the long term. Other than the City of Chicago creating economic incentives, there is no real way they could have companies come into these neighborhoods. They can’t force a company to create a business. That’s really what makes this situation so difficult to solve.


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