Food for Thought

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Mark De Leon 1

Mark De Leon

ENG 240

May 5, 2013

Food for thought

In today’s society, the increase in rates of obesity and related chronic diseases such as heart attack and diabetes is continuously rising due to unhealthy diet and this is because some people have limited access to supermarkets and fast food advertisements on television negatively impacts and appends to epidemic of obesity among children and adolescents. The issue, healthy foods are so expensive. With the continuous rise of gas, insurance, and other expenses, we are being forced to manage our budget even tighter. This may not affect large cities as much as in smaller town. People that live in rural areas may not have access to supermarkets, grocery stores, or other food retailers that provides a large selection of foods needed for a healthy diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh dairy and meat products. People in these areas are likely to depend on food retailers or fast food restaurants that only offer more limited varieties of foods. The lack of access to full-service grocery stores and the easier access to fast and convenience foods can be the main reason to poor diets and unfortunately, to obesity and other diet-related diseases.

Mark De Leon 2

More than two million households in the United States live more than a mile from a supermarket and do no transportation. The problem with people that lives in small areas is that they are limited to small grocery stores that may not carry the foods that they need for a healthy diet which in most cases, healthy foods are being carried somewhere else, where (far from where they live) the price are more than likely to be doubled. Also, low-income shoppers are likely to shop for food where they are cheap. Convenience stores may not carry fresh vegetables, canned fruits, and nonfat or skim milk which give shoppers no choice but to purchase foods that are high in saturated fat or high calories. Most foods are sold in different range of retail stores such as supermarkets, grocery, and convenient store. Large retail outlets typically offer all major food departments, including fresh produce, meat, poultry and seafood, as well as more economical package sizes and lower cost store brands and generic brands of packaged foods. Many studies have shown large retail outlets are more affordable relative to other retail food outlets. According to USDA, availability of market basket items did not vary by poverty level among supermarkets in urban areas but variety did vary by poverty level for large grocers. Fresh produce and fresh seafood were less available in large grocers located in high-poverty areas. Fresh meat was more available, however, at large grocers in these locations. In rural areas, market basket costs were consistently similar in higher and lower poverty areas. With the exception of fresh seafood, a similar proportion of market basket items were available in supermarkets and large grocery stores, regardless of the area’s poverty level. Food quality was similar across different store types and poverty levels in rural areas. Mark De Leon 3

Food is also sold in restaurants, fast food outlets, and related food service establishments. As a matter of fact, almost half of all food spending is on food away from home. In considering the effect of food access on diet and health, access to restaurants and other foodservice establishments is important because food from these sources accounts for a significant part of the total diet. However, access to restaurants and other food service outlets are not being considered when it comes to comparing with food stores and other retail food outlets. The financial costs of an equal quantity of food purchased in a restaurant are higher than the costs at supermarkets or grocery stores. The cost of food sold in restaurants represents about one-third of the price at...
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