Posts Tagged ‘food deserts’

Food Stores “Drive” Bariatric Surgery Outcomes?

March 11, 2023 — Belief in the power of food stores and markets to shape outcomes in obesity runs deep. Perhaps it’s unshakable. But still, recent PR spin claiming that food stores “drive” bariatric surgery outcomes takes confusion of correlation with causality to new heights. In a press release from Ohio State University, the lead author of two new […]

Fixing Food Deserts: Promising or Trivial Effects?

May 24, 2022 — It seems to be an article of faith. Millions of low-income Americans live in food deserts and it puts them at higher risk for obesity. That’s a prevalent narrative to explain the link between poverty and obesity. And thus, the narrative works its way into the interpretation of research on programs for fixing food deserts. […]

Mixing Up Correlation, Causation, Obesity, and Poverty

August 15, 2018 — It’s an easy mistake to make. “It’s poverty, not individual choice that is driving extraordinary obesity levels,” writes Martin Cohen in The Conversation. That seems like a reasonable sentiment. But it’s not quite true. A Messy Correlation The truth is that poverty can predict a higher risk of obesity – in some cases. But not all. […]

Plant a Supermarket, Grow a Healthy Foodscape?

July 3, 2017 — Superficial thinking begets superficial solutions. And superficial solutions don’t solve many problems. Yet again, we’re learning that this is the case with superficial thinking about food deserts. A new study in Health and Place finds that simply planting a supermarket in a food desert does little to address problems with access to healthy food. Complex […]

The Risks of Assuming We Know What Causes Obesity

November 11, 2015 — Oscar Wilde long ago warned about the risks of assuming. But that doesn’t put a dent in some deeply held assumptions about what causes obesity. We lived through decades of nutrition policy that assumed excess fat in the diet was responsible for obesity and a host of other chronic diseases. Now we know that those […]

Invested in Fighting Food Deserts Instead of Obesity?

September 9, 2015 — Ideological investment in the concept of fighting food deserts remains resilient in the face of a continuing stream of data that suggests it will do nothing to reverse obesity trends. The latest blow comes from a study by researchers at the Rand Corporation and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. They analyzed the 2011 […]

Fighting Food Deserts: Disappointing Results

March 2, 2015 — Fighting food deserts is a core agenda item in the campaign to reverse the obesity epidemic. We’re five years into a seven-year program “to eliminate food deserts in America completely in seven years.” The Healthy Foods Financing Initiative has been providing funds for selling healthy food in food deserts since 2010. It builds on a Pennsylvania idea, […]

The Persistent Mythology of Food Deserts

February 14, 2014 — The persistent mythology of food deserts seems immune to evidence that continues to contradict long-held assumptions. This month in Health Affairs we have yet another in a long line of studies that show simply opening new supermarkets in food deserts neither alters dietary habits nor has an impact on obesity. The concept of food deserts […]

Wishful Thinking About Food Deserts

May 9, 2013 — When does a food desert become a money pit? One answer might be: when well-intended people persistently spend money on fixing food deserts without stopping to figure out what really works. A new study and news about ongoing efforts to give people better access to nutritious foods begs us to stop and think. In the […]