Cynthia Wang, Julia Hunter, Connor Moore
While grabbing an apple may seem like a simple task, for many Americans, the availability of healthy food options is limited. We studied the factors that influence food choice, specifically, how socioeconomic status contributes to health and diet. Where income is low, BMI is high. The correlation between income and obesity presents a substantial problem. Places with limited food accessibility, otherwise known as “food deserts” are largely low-income areas. For those living in these areas, the lack of availability of healthy options is reflected upon their spending habits, and ultimately their health. In food deserts fresh produce is scarce and eating organically is nearly impossible; what is present, however, is fast and cheap food. While it may be convenient, fast food does little for the health of its consumers. Cheap, calorie-dense foods are linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease and type-two diabetes. While low-earners are suffering, the organic movement has swept the elite, creating an even larger health discrepancy between rich and poor. We examined the impact of food accessibility and fast food culture on health, while highlighting the organic movement, its health benefits and possible ways of increasing the availability of healthy food options in low-income areas. Our findings suggest that increased food accessibility, health education and lowering costs of organic produce are all necessary in improving the health of low SES communities. Although eating organically may seem like a luxury, subsidizing organic farms and improving transportation and accessibility of low-income communities will expand the diets of those subsisting on highly processed fast foods.