Adverse Food Environments in Vulnerable Communities of Color
Pioneer Academics, Weston, Florida, USA
Received Date:July 01, 2021; Published Date: July 31, 2021
Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States, causing several life-threatening health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, kidney disease, and more. In the United States, it is no secret that obesity has been on the rise for decades and has shown no sign of slowing down. The epidemic disproportionately affects low-income and minority individuals. Researchers often debate the primary causes and most effective way to slow the obesity epidemic. One commonly cited cause of the epidemic is food deserts: communities that lack access to a grocery store. Although food deserts are important to mention due to the attention they receive from politicians and the public, the lack of empirical evidence linking food deserts to obesity has led many scholars to disregard them. Alternatively, food swamps (communities where unhealthy eating options far outnumber healthy options, making healthy eating inconvenient and even discouraged) have been legitimately explored - by public health officials and scholars alike - as a potential contributing factor to the obesity epidemic. This article discusses the impact of food deserts and food swamps and the steps proposed by scholars to solving food swamps in America - subsequently alleviating a significant, ongoing public health crisis.
Keywords: Public Health; Obesity; Public Policy; Food Desert; Food Swamp