Obesity for Low Income AmericansAnnotated BibliographyAmerica is in the midst of an obesity epidemic where more than thirty-six percent ofAmericans are considered obese. The epidemic is affecting the poor even worse as they are 1.66times more likely to be obese.
A newspaper article in The Harvard Gazette describes a studydone at Harvard that found it is more expensive to eat healthy than to eat unhealthy. The FoodResearch and Action center also published an article where they attempted to examine why poorpeople are more susceptible to obesity. In addition, an article in a National Institute of Healthjournal examined whether federal taxes and subsidies were effective in improving public health,and it found that federal subsidies decreasing prices of fruits and vegetables were effective.These sources show that the high obesity rates for people in poverty are caused by theincreasing price gap between healthy and unhealthy foods and can be solved throughgovernment subsidies that make healthy food more affordable.Chacloupka, F., Chriqui, J., Khan, T.
, Powell, L., & Wada, R. (2013). Assessing the PotentialEffectiveness of Food and Beverage Taxes and Subsidies for Improving Public Health: ASystematic Review of Prices, Demand and Body Weight Outcomes. National Institute ofHealth Journal, 14(2): 110–128.
doi:10.1111/obr.12002 In this 2013 journal article, the authors explain the results of a study conducted to seehow effective taxes and subsidies were in improving public health. Because of the obesityepidemic, the government has implemented higher taxes on fast foods and sugar-sweetenedbeverages to make them more expensive and subsidies on fruits and vegetables to make themcheaper. The study attempted to examine the effect that changes in price of foods would have on OBESITY FOR LOW INCOME AMERICANS 3consumers demand for healthy or unhealthy foods and the consumers body weight.
The studyfound that the taxes on fast food did not significantly affect the demand or the consumers bodyweight outcome. However, the study did find that the subsidies on fruit and vegetables resultedin lower body weight outcomes, especially for low-income people. This source is very relevantto helping control the obesity epidemic for the poor because the study was able to show thatgovernment subsidies that attempt to lower the cost of healthy food can be effective in loweringconsumers’ body weight. The article also references twenty other scientific studies that foundsimilar results. All of this scientific data will be very helpful in developing a persuasiveargument. This source is highly credible as it is a peer reviewed academic journal.
In addition,all five of the authors have a PhD and do research at University of Illinois.Feldscher, K. (2013, December 5). Pinpointing the higher cost of a healthy diet. The HarvardGazette.
Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/12/pinpointing-thehigher-cost-of-a-healthy-diet/ Feldscher’s 2013 article in The Harvard Gazette analyzes and explains a study done atthe Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to find if eating a healthy diet was more expensivethan an unhealthy diet. The research did a meta-analysis of twenty-seven different studies thathad already been conducted and combined the price data from these studies to determine ifhealthy foods were more expensive. The researchers found that healthy foods like fruit andvegetables cost significantly more than unhealthy foods like processed foods and refined grains.They found that on average it costs $550 per year more to eat healthy. Researchers admit thatthis is a small price for the average American household, but this $550 does present a realproblem for low income families. This article would be helpful in arguing that healthy food OBESITY FOR LOW INCOME AMERICANS 4needs to be made less expensive because it gives evidence that healthy food is costlier.
It alsoshows that this increased cost is having a greater effect on low-income individuals. This articleis credible because it is analyzes a scientific study and provides factual opposed to opinionatedinformation. In addition, the author also has a PhD and does research at Harvard.Food Research and Action Center. (2017). Why Low-Income and Food-Insecure People areVulnerable to Poor Nutrition and Obesity.
Retrieved from http://frac.org/obesityhealth/low-income-food-insecure-people-vulnerable-poor-nutrition-obesityThe Food Research and Action Center researches and attempts to find solutions to healthrelated issues. In this particular webpage, they analyze why low income people are increasinglyvulnerable to obesity. One reason if they lack access to nearby grocery stores or transportationto go to a grocery store.
Also, healthy food is often of worse quality in poorer areas. In addition,there are fewer opportunities for physical activity with fewer parks and more crime. Poor peoplehave less access to health care, so they cannot be diagnosed for health problems like obesity.The Food Research and Action Center feels these factors have combined to make low incomepeople more susceptible to obesity. This source is relevant to the topic of increased obesity forlower income individuals because it provides many reasons and explanations for why thisproblem is occurring.
It is a reliable source because it contains references to many other researchstudies. This makes this source very useful for a persuasive argument because its arguments arebacked up by scientific data.Obesity has become an ever-increasing problem for people in low income communities.
The Food Research and Action Center explains many of the reasons why this is the case OBESITY FOR LOW INCOME AMERICANS 5including lack of access to grocery stores, little opportunities for physical activity, and lack ofaccess to health care. An article in the Harvard Gazette claims studies are showing anotherreason may be the increasing price gap between healthy and unhealthy foods. In addition, ascientific journal written by researchers at the University of Illinois found that governmentsubsidies that attempt to decrease this price gap can be effective in lowering the percent of low incomeAmericans that are obese. The sources show that obesity for low-income Americans is areal problem that may be able to be solved by making healthy foods more affordable.