Black neighborhoods suffer most from supermarket access

Stefani Camille, staff writer
October 29, 2013

Healthy nutrition is a crucial element in anyone’s life, be it in the black, Latino, or white community. Yet, mostly black neighborhoods are affected with having the least access to supermarkets in their community. The development in our children is sadly affected when their neighborhood stores are merely convenience stores that sell mostly foods higher in fat, sugar and salt.

A study recently published by the journal Preventive Medicine done by researchers from John Hopkins University studied the different neighborhood traits, poverty and racial makeup and how it relates to the problem of not having access to supermarkets that sell a variety of foods.

The study showed that black communities didn’t differ in stores despite the economic makeup of the area. Poor black and wealthier black communities both faired less compared to that of high-poverty white areas. This means that the double jeopardy disadvantage of supermarket access.

Researchers wrote that the supermarket shortage appeared to be more severe in urban poor black neighborhoods than rural ones, suggesting that strategies to improve access to healthy food should not be rolled out nationwide, but targeted at disadvantaged urban areas.

The study also found that white neighborhoods generally have the most convenience stores and black neighborhoods the fewest. However, if white neighborhoods “have equally good access to supermarkets and high quality foods, they may not be as reliant on the convenience stores as a regular source of food,” Kelly Bower, an instructor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, in an email to the Los Angeles Times

The Johns Hopkins study used race and poverty data from the 2000 census, with national sample of more than 65,000 census tracts overlaid with information about supermarkets and other stores from the commercial database InfoUSA.

There have been many improvements and development in low income areas since then. Let’s hope things have changed since the 2000 census.

Posted by on Oct 30 2013. Filed under Race. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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