Black people are 1.5 times more likely to be obese than their white counterparts. Why?
As the time goes by growing rates of obesity and diet-related, life-threatening conditions like diabetes are becoming curses of contemporary society. People give up burgers and fries and switch to healthier products. But still, the fact that urban, African-American neighborhoods have been disproportionately targeted by the continued expansion of fast-food chains has been overlooked too often.
Chin Jou, an American history lecturer at the University of Sydney, doesn’t believe is has happened by accident.
His new book, Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help, details how previous U.S. governments have promoted the growth of fast-food outlets in minority communities.
The efforts of the companies along with aggressive advertising have taken most Black people too far from healthier diets of previous generations. As a result, Jou points out, minority communities are disproportionately affected by obesity and related health issues.
Reversing this trend won’t be easy, especially when the industry increasingly looks to Latino neighborhoods and other minority communities to boost sales. Though Jou believes there’s hope.