To illustrate the jigsaw puzzle that explains health and food disparities in low-income communities, comparisons between two low-income communities, Flint and Detroit, reveal a lack of grocery stores with affordable prices and the abundance of fast-food restaurant are key challenges linked to adverse health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. “It basically confirmed that there’s a lot of junk food on kids’ menus in poorer neighborhoods of urban areas,” said Rick Sadler, assistant professor in MSU’s College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health — Flint campus, who co-authored in 2018 a study on how students who attend schools in urban areas with high levels of socioeconomic distress consume foods with low levels of nutritional value such as fast-food.
Fast-food frequency in Detroit
“The number of fast food restaurants are too many to count, but I would say more than 10,” said Detroit resident Darion Jackson. “It’s harder to find healthier options when all you’re surrounded with is fast food.”
This video recorded while driving through Detroit shows fast-food restaurants dominated city blocks. Kenneth Matthews, a Detroit resident, agrees with Jackson on the increasing number of fast food restaurant in the city. Systemic racism
Sadler credits systemic racism as the root cause for food disparities.