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.
By CHEYNA ROTH
Capital News Service
LANSING — School bake sales have gotten an extreme health makeover this past school year, but state lawmakers are hoping to bring back the traditional sweet fare. Michigan public schools that participate in federal meal programs have been required since July to follow the federal “Smart Snacks” program, which regulates the types of foods served and sold on school grounds. The regulation, which targets growing childhood obesity rates, establishes nutrition standards and applies to any food sold on school grounds within 30 minutes of the end of the school day. Under USDA guidelines, foods must meet certain sodium, fat, calorie and sugar limits as well as other requirements such as having the first ingredient be a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein. If schools do not comply with the regulations, they could potentially face a fine dictated by the USDA, which has not yet been set.
By PATRICK LYONS
Capital News Service
LANSING – A recommendation to the governor that would scrap the planned regulation of dietitians and nutritionists has alarmed the state’s dietitians. Kathy DeGrow, a lobbyist for the Michigan Dietetic Association, said the problem with the move is the need to preserve the occupation’s credibility. She said all dietitians have the knowledge and experience to be considered nutritionists, but not all “nutritionists” are qualified to be considered dietitians. All dietitians must be registered with the American Association of Dietitians, but nutritionists are not registered. “There are people who are calling themselves ‘nutritionists’ but they do not have the same credential as a professional who would have a license and a well-defined educational background,” she said.
Men’s Fitness Magazine recently ranked Michigan State University as the third fittest college in the nation. The ranking was based on nutrition, fitness and campus indexes that included the number of athletic clubs, nutrition and the amount of sunshine on campus. MSU has three intramural facilities on campus that are utilized by thousands of students. “I like IM West because it’s big, there are a lot of machines so if someone is using something usually there’s something else you can do,” MSU freshman Louis Savona said. “They’re all new and they’re all nice.”