Dan Gilmore / September 11, 2015

Study Pokes Hole in Government Theory on Food Deserts

Liberals think the root cause of obesity is the environment and societal structures.

When it comes to public health, liberals think the root cause of obesity is the environment and societal structures. For years, the Left has bemoaned “food deserts” — zip codes where the population tends poor and live a distance from a supermarket — as the cause for expanding waistlines. But a new study, produced by the Rand Corporation, suggests it has more to do with decisions people make in what they stuff into their mouths, the price of food and eating habits. When studying the issue, the Rand Corporation found that there was little correlation between how many supermarkets are in an area and the rates of obesity. The Los Angeles Times reported, “[A director at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Dr. Paul Simon, said] that government regulations intended to improve public health tend to be simplistic. Dropping a new supermarket in an underserved community won’t solve dietary problems, he said.” In the past, places like Los Angeles have gone so far as to control how many fast food restaurants can set up on certain areas, controlling the local economy. It’s not just about getting fresh fruits and veggies in certain neighborhoods, but it’s also about controlling the food the neighborhood eats. If we want to see what a government-sanctioned diet looks like, just look to the school lunch program or a prison. Freedom is tasty.

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