Obesity in America

America is known as the land of opportunity. We have the opportunity to vote, voice our opinions as we please, read and write what we want, and support any cause we see fit. We also have the pursue and education or to work, and we have the opportunity to freely practice our religious beliefs. While our freedoms are substantial, they are not limitless, and the reality of America is far less inspiring. One particular area that falls under this category is health. As a nation, we are in a constant discussion regarding “being healthy”. Unfortunately not everyone has the same access to a healthy lifestyle, especially with regard to food. Depending on variations in income, location, race, and transportation, healthy food may not be an available resource, and whether these food options are accessible can greatly affect an individual’s vitality and overall lifespan. As a whole, low-income neighborhoods, minority neighborhoods, and populations living in rural areas lack the ability to find and purchase healthy foods, which are found primarily in supermarkets. A national study conducted by the Food Trust found that “more per capita full-service restaurants, grocery stores, and direct farm sales are associated with positive health outcomes. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores are associated with negative health outcomes”. A 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that an overwhelming 23.5 million people live in areas that do not have supermarkets or full service restaurants within a one-mile radius of their home.

Personally I find these statistics disturbing. We should not live in a country that values equality to highly in principle, but is so far off in practice. Everyone should have the ability to go to the grocery store and have the opportunity to purchase something healthy, not something filled with artificial chemicals and fat. I have a big issue with the fact our country is known for its obesity problem, yet nothing really is being done to fix it. There has to be a solution!

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