Navigation Links
Urban poor plagued by 'burdens of place'
Date:8/9/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. Most of America's urban cores were designed for walking but offer little in the way of supermarkets, healthy restaurants and other amenities for residents to walk to, according to a study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

The study is one of the first to show that poor residents living in declining urban neighborhoods want healthy food choices evidenced by their willingness to travel long distances to find them. Past research has generally assumed that poor people will shop at whatever store is closest.

But compared with suburban residents, the urban poor are more overweight and must travel farther to find healthy food and access personal services, said Igor Vojnovic, associate professor of geography and lead author on the study.

"This research reveals that the lack of access to basic amenities in declining inner-city neighborhoods what we call the 'burdens of place' is an important variable in shaping travel and diet," Vojnovic said.

Vojnovic and colleagues studied the Lansing, Mich., area by surveying urban and suburban residents, collecting socioeconomic data and using digital mapping to plot average distances to stores, restaurants, doctors' offices, banks, skating rinks and other amenities.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Urban Design, found that poor urban residents were significantly overweight, with an average body mass index of 28.73, while wealthy suburbanites were only slightly overweight, with an average BMI of 25.05. (For adults, a BMI of 25 is considered overweight and 30 is obese.)

Other findings included:

  • Fast food restaurants were more plentiful in poor neighborhoods. In addition, residents there reported that 55 percent of all dining-out experiences were at fast food eateries, compared with only 13 percent for those in the suburbs.

  • Poor urban residents had to go nearly twice as far as suburbanites to shop at supermarkets.

  • The urban poor made about five trips per month to convenience stores (which aren't known for stocking healthy foods) compared with only one trip per month for suburbanites.

"Even though the inner cities were designed to improve access, homeowners in the wealthier suburbs were actually closer to the stores and restaurants that offer healthier foods," Vojnovic said. "In other words, opportunities depend on where you live."

During the past 30 years, urban planners and business investors have largely ignored poor communities, instead focusing policy, research and investment efforts on wealthier neighborhoods, Vojnovic said. As a result, little is known about resident behaviors in declining communities, even as the number of poor people increases in the United States, he said.

The current study shows that the fundamental principles in city planning and design that have been developed around wealthy communities do not necessarily hold in poor neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, some have advocated an "obesity tax" on unhealthy foods to help pay for the health-care system overhaul or as a policy to curtail obesity. But Vojnovic said such a tax would disproportionately burden the urban poor and noted that this population has little power to influence the location decisions of healthy food suppliers.

Vojnovic said a better option might be for states to give subsidies to major supermarket chains, restaurants serving healthy food and other needed establishments that locate in poor neighborhoods.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andy Henion
henion@msu.edu
517-355-3294
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. History of abandoned urban sites found stored in soil
2. Urban Hospitals May Act as Breeding Ground for MRSA
3. Despite hardships, black men in urban communities are resilient, MU researcher says
4. Many Call Center Workers Plagued by Voice Woes
5. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
6. From herd immunity and complacency to group panic: How vaccine scares unfold
7. 2 repressor genes identified as essential for placental development
8. Joint-Replacement Failure Rate Higher for Smokers: Studies
9. Less Invasive Heart Valve Replacement Works for Elderly: Study
10. A place to play: Researcher designs schoolyard for children with autism
11. New study shows that workplace inspections save lives, dont destroy jobs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Urban poor plagued by 'burdens of place'
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network ... advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City ... and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of ... baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the loss ... author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ten ... the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, he ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San ... using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are ... cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)...   Divoti USA will engrave and process ... of the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical ... need of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can ... in terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided ... Piedras, Puerto Rico , where the ... Following a comprehensive onsite ... structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water ... manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects to ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare ... CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will ... during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the ... offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for ... campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: