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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Supersizing Urban America -- Black Neighborhoods Continue to Be Targeted by Fast Food Chains, and It's the Government's Fault!

African Americans at fast food restaurant

African Americans are 1.5 times more likely to be obese than white Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  Yet thanks to the U.S. government, neighborhoods where mostly African Americans live continue to be targeted for expansion of fast food chains, creating more unhealthy eating habits.
Why blame the government?

Small Business Administration (SBA) grants from the U.S. government have added to the growth of fast food establishments proliferating Black neighborhoods, and to rising obesity, heart disease, and diabetes among Blacks.

According to Chin Jou, an American history lecturer at the University of Sydney, the government bears responsibility by subsidizing a disproportionate amount of fast food restaurants in minority communities.

Not just Blacks, but other minorities too

Jou’s new book, Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help, explains how the U.S. government has helped subsidize fast food franchises. Jou says the simpe fact that fast food advertising is targeting minority children more than white children adds to a growing problem in Black and Hispanic communities with unhealthy eating habits that lead to related major health problems later in life.

Many of these such SBA-approved fast food establishments have been the result of urban development and revitalization efforts.

While the effects of unhealthy eating among minority communities may not have been foreseen, both Jou and other experts agree that it warrants more investment by the government to push for more programs on nutrition and child obesity intervention.

For more details about Jou's research and/or her new book, visit
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