Interesting article on The Week. It says that it’s really not the lack of access to healthy food (what the USDA terms a “food desert”) but living close to fast-food joints and convenience stores (i.e. a “food swamp”) is what is more influential in eating habits. People like convenience — sure, doesn’t sound like rocket science — but more telling is that fast-food restaurants outnumber supermarkets by 5 to 1 in the U.S. Americans really do like convenience, a hell of a lot. Over cost as well, it seems, since you will get a lot more bang for your buck in a supermarket. Reports The Week:
So what’s the real problem? Many people simply like fast food better. A recent University of North Carolina (UNC) study of the eating habits of 5,000 people over 15 years found that living near a supermarket had little impact on whether people had healthy diets. But living close to fast-food outlets did. The real problem, the study found, is the existence of “food swamps,” filled with convenience stores selling calorie-loaded packaged foods, gallon cups of soda, and other sugar-loaded beverages, and fast-food chains peddling burgers, fries, and fried chicken on almost every street corner. That’s no exaggeration: There are now five fast-food restaurants for every supermarket in the U.S.
More on The Week