According to the Food Police and their big government allies, ‘food deserts’ (the name given to areas where access to fresh, local produce is allegedly scarce) are to blame for obesity and various other public health crises. However, two new studies published this month in leading scientific journals suggest otherwise.
As reported by The New York Times, these studies not only found that poor, urban neighborhoods have as many food establishments as their affluent counterparts, but the research also showed no relationship between the type of food sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children.
Nanny state government officials have jumped on the Food Police bandwagon regarding food deserts, justifying the exorbitant spending of tax-payer dollars which give companies funding to open new supermarkets in particular neighborhoods. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving stimulus grants of more than $372 million to 44 communities in an effort to reduce rates of both obesity and smoking. The research clearly does not support this irresponsible, ineffective public policy. Even public health activists who normally support government overreach do not endorse the approach taken here:
“It is always easy to advocate for more grocery stores,” said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, who was not involved in the studies. “But if you are looking for what you hope will change obesity, healthy food access is probably just wishful thinking.”
The non-scientific labeling of ‘food deserts’ is just another over-simplified theory used by the government to gain more control over a complex problem such as obesity. Health and food decisions are best addressed by individuals and families, not government.
Continue reading at The New York Times.
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