Fixing Food Deserts

Otherwise known as food deserts, for the lack of fresh produce and healthy food choices, efforts are being made to remedy the problem.

Thanks to Micelle Obama for taking up the cause and creating awareness, grocery stores are being built in once forgotten areas.

“Simply providing fruits and vegetables may not be enough if [they] don’t meet the expectations of those people who are supposed to buy them,” Jonathan Blitstein, a research psychologist at Research Triangle Institute and lead author of the paper, tells The Salt.

In other words, low-income shoppers dislike wilted lettuce just as much as anyone else. Not shocking.

Providing a wide variety of choices as well as well maintained and fresh produce will go a long way to encourage people to buy fresh, healthy ingredients to prepare for their families.

Obesity Is A Threat To National Security

The U.S. military is overweight.

$4.65 billion is spent in food services each year.

It also spends an estimated $1.1 billion a year on medical care associated with excess weight and obesity.

“The Department of Defense considers obesity not only a national problem but a national security issue,” Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson told reporters in a call to discuss the first lady’s visit to Arkansas and other states to promote healthy eating.

“Our primary focus is on the health and well-being of service members, their families, and our retirees,” Woodson said in remarks to be delivered in Little Rock. “Obesity is a preventable problem which, if combated, can help prevent disease and ease the burden on our overall Military Health System.”

Addressing America’s Growing Waistline

Americans are fat and getting fatter.

And the solutions to the problem are a pretty tall order.

“Altering the way society is organized” may be effective in addressing the problem but is it a viable solution?

Consider all the special interests benefitting from the system as it is now, from factory farms to tobacco companies, who is willing to be “re-organized”?

First lady Michelle Obama has made healthy eating her special project and hopefully she can bring national attention to growing problem.

The problem for the country echoes the problem for individuals: Willpower is not enough. “(It’s a) basic instinct, even stronger than the sexual instinct, to store calories to survive the next period of starvation. And we live in an environment where there’s food every half mile. It’s tasty, cheap, convenient, and you can eat it with one hand.”
Thus says Martijn Katan of the Institute of Health Sciences at VU University in Amsterdam, author of one of the many studies on the limits of dieting, quoted in U.S. News & World Report.
If you as an individual want to change your weight, you must change your whole life. Likewise, to reduce obesity in modern society, we will have to alter the way society is organized.

Government Subsidized Obesity?

When you consider that there are more tax dollars being spent on junk food than on fruits and vegetables it seems obvious that there is a conflict of interest.

Spending tax dollars on health care to combat childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes while fueling the problem with those very same dollars seems like a fool’s errand, to be sure.

It makes the efforts of people like Michelle Obama look downright ridiculous in face of the facts.

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