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.
America, land of the free to eat what you want, home of the gluttonous. Eating healthy is something most Americans strive to do. It is also considered a feat that is easier said than done here in the United States where fast food options are prevalent and easily accessible. If Americans struggle to eat healthy, how would someone from the other side of the planet fare in finding healthy food options like the ones they are accustomed to in their homeland? That is exactly what Nataree Leelapatree, an international student from Thailand who attends Michigan State, had to do five years ago when she first came to the United States.
Mid-Michiganders still await their first taste of the Southern-based fast-food restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A, on their home front. The company’s plans to open a location on Grand River Avenue in front of Meijer in Okemos were confirmed in November and residents today are anticipating further information on the opening of the store. Meridian Township Director of Community Planning and Development Mark Kieselbach confirms that the special use permits necessary for the addition of the restaurant have been approved by the Planning Commission of Meridian Township. “As soon as they announced they were coming to the township, we had a lot of interest. A lot of people follow them, [have tried] Chick-fil-A in other states and like them,” Kieselbach said.
By Lilli Khatibi
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
Halo Burger, a fast-food chain that originated in Flint, Michigan, has opened its doors in East Lansing. The burger joint opened for business in 1923 in Flint by Sam Blair, who sold the first burger out of a boxcar wagon. Since then, it has expanded its reach to 14 different locations. The menu offers different types of burgers and sandwiches, as well as a variety of sides and shakes. Halo Burger has its own unique menu item – the Vernor’s milkshake.