The Obesity Problem Addressed By A Growing Number of Cities

Nov 04, 09 The Obesity Problem Addressed By A Growing Number of Cities
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As many people know, the obesity problem is out of control.  The statistics are harrowing.  Approximately, 1/3 or nearly 72 million people are classified as obese.  Another 33% are overweight.  In addition, Americans spend $33 billion a year on healthcare costs related to obesity.

The health problems due to obesity are also well documented.  Approximately 300,000 Americans die prematurely every year due to medical conditions associated with obesity.  The problem of obesity has never been addressed in comprehensive way utilizing public policy.

Now, many cities across the country have begun to tackle the obesity problem among low-income residents.

The poor and working poor suffer disproportionately from obesity.  They often have diets high in calories, saturated fats, and bad sugars.

According to an online New York Times article, corner stores, often the culprit in high fat/high sugar diets, have become the linchpin in a number of public health campaigns.

Cities, such as Cleveland, have created initiatives that are designed to encourage these neighborhood stores and bodegas to carry healthy products and give them prominent placement within the store.  Other ideas include providing federal grants to big-box stores in order to encourage them to build within urban areas.

There are scores of reliable studies that link the problem of obesity to the lack of access to healthy food.  Poor people trapped in bad neighborhood do not have the means to seek out healthy alternatives that are often far away from where they live.

A study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that people with no grocery store near their home were 46% less likely to have a healthy diet.  Although no comprehensive plan has been implemented as of yet, it is good to see that policymakers and politicians have begun to address the obesity problem among our most vulnerable citizens.

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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful writing! Will take a decent amount of time to think over the writing.

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