Keep on Fighting the Weight Fight

Obesity epidemic isn't going to end by adding new grocery stores

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Wake up and smell the coffee — there's not just one way to tackle the obesity epidemic. A combination of many factors will do it, but addressing those factors are proving difficult.

The obesity epidemic is responsible for causing premature deaths. Researchers of a new study say that supplying more fruits and vegetables at an affordable price to neighborhoods lacking in these resources isn't cutting it.

"The first step to fight obestity is getting educated about healthy living."

Senior author Penny Gordon-Larsen, Ph.D., from the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studied the relationship between availability of certain dining places and food deserts. A food desert is a term used to describe neighborhoods that have little or no access to healthy foods.

The researchers found that low-income individuals who were within 0.6 to about 2 miles of a fast food joint were more likely to eat there. Providing supermarkets in the area had no significant effect on healthy eating.

This study provides some proof that fast food restaurants located near food deserts increases the likelihood of low-income individuals eating there, and having healthy food options in the same area is not enough to stop the obesity epidemic. More research is needed to figure out why low-income individuals are choosing those foods, Gordon-Larsen concludes.

This research is reported in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Review Date: 
July 15, 2011
Last Updated:
July 20, 2011