Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Bronx Paradox and other new food policy research

Many articles and issues about food security popping up lately: here's a quick look a few.

The Obesity-Hunger Paradox, NYT 3.12.10
A fascinating article in the Times about the co-mordibity of hunger and obesity, dubbed here "the Bronx Paradox." It's an issue I've long suspected but never saw the data put side-by-side. Some of the highest rates of food hardship are in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn; right where there are high percentages of food-related illness. This is another example about how socioeconomic problems are often a complex web with very few easy prescriptions. As quoted in the article,
“If you look at rates of obesity, diabetes, poor access to grocery stores, poverty rates, unemployment and hunger measures, the Bronx lights up on all of those,” said Triada Stampas of the Food Bank for New York City. “They’re all very much interconnected.”
Multi-pronged solutions of income support, nutritional support and education, improved access to better food choices in schools, in local stores and in neighborhood supermarkets, and improved spaces for recreation are all needed to combat the twin problems of hunger and obesity.

Rise in Soda Price Linked to Better Health, NYT 3.15.10

New research provides evidence that a proposed soda tax could reduce soda consumption and help young people make healthier choices. In nearly a one-to-one ratio, a 10% increase in price led to a 7% decrease in soda consumption, and less calories consumed overall. Full study is in the March 8 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign wants ideas:
A new White House directive has created the interagency Childhood Obesity Task Force which is developing an action plan for how federal, state, and local governments, along with the private and nonprofit sectors, can come together to fight childhood obesity. In a call for ideas, you can submit suggestions here. The regulations.gov form is a little daunting, but you can use the comments button to write in your suggestions. They say whatever ideas you have are welcome, and they want ideas from parents and educators as well as from professionals. The deadline for submitting comments is March 26, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. These 3 aspects of our relationship to food are so integrated, and so telling. How do we get the big money into widespread early public education and community interventions rather than in marketing for the $1 cheap snack and fighting the soda tax? Go Michelle GO! I just think the health care/health insurance debacle is a tip of the same iceberg when it comes to looking at these widespread patterns.

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