Nutritional Discrimination in the United States

Nutritional discrimination is the belief that every step in the process of producing and selling food supports an institutional discrimination that prohibits non-white and low-income citizens from receiving the correct and proper amount of good nutrition needed to lead a disease-free, healthy lifestyle. This includes the beliefs that the placement of grocery stores and fast food restaurants is based on the demographics of communities. Jessica Baltmanas cites Rachel Slocum in her own essay titled “Racism, Food Environments, Obesity and Hunger,” saying, “Often grocery stores and businesses are looking to place a branch of their operations in places that will yield greater profits. The location of stores in communities is inherently strategic to maximize profit.” (Baltmanas, 3) This suggests that grocery stores are less likely to invest in areas that are not as promising in terms of gaining revenue, but fast food restaurants are because of low-income citizens’ ability to pay. This is believed to create food deserts, or areas that do not offer grocery stores, but instead convenience stores filled with foods high in sodium and saturated fats. Some who acknowledge the existence of nutritional discrimination point out the obvious, large discrepancy between the prices of organic foods and fast foods.
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