According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, living in a neighborhood loaded with junk food restaurants makes it more likely that you will eat a lot of junk food.
For years now, nutrition “experts” have been telling us that people who live in “food deserts” in which healthy food is difficult to find are doomed to a life of pizza, cheetos, soda, type 2 diabetes and morbid obesity.
As a result, the U.S. federal government has made it one of their priorities to increase access to healthy “real” food in these target neighborhoods. And by priorities, I mean spending big piles of tax dollars.
The idea is that we spend some money in the short term to:
- Eliminate food deserts
- Improve the health of people living in food deserts, thereby
- Improving their productivity, quality of life, income, thereby
- Raising tax revenue, thereby
- Getting a positive return on the initial investment of tax dollars
Too bad this same AIM study couldn’t find a similarly strong relationship between the consumption of healthy food (fruit, vegetables, etc) and people who live in neighborhoods loaded with supermarkets.
After crunching the data, the researchers concluded that “there is some evidence for zoning restrictions on fast food restaurants within 3 km of low-income residents but suggest that increased access to food stores may require complementary or alternative strategies to promote dietary behavior change.”
Because it’s not enough to build supermarkets and stock them with healthy food.
People eat junk food because they believe that the short term benefits outweigh the long term costs.
And until that belief is changed, junk food producers will continue to make a ton of money and our population will continue to get fatter and more diabetic. 😦
What to do, what to do, what to do….
What about you?