Presentation Title

Food Deserts as a Social Problem in Omaha

Advisor Information

Peter Szto

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room B

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 11:15 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 11:30 AM

Abstract

In recent years, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service has identified food deserts as low-income rural and urban areas that lack access to reasonably priced, nutritious foods due to distance, lack of a car, or insufficient public transportation. There are serious health implications, including obesity, diabetes and malnutrition, associated with food deserts that can greatly reduce quality of life. There are over 23.5 million people living in areas that have been identified as food deserts in the United States. In Douglas and Sarpy counties there are approximately 40,000 people living in food deserts: 11,500 are children under the age of 17 and 4,000 are seniors over the age of 65 (Economic Research Service, 2009). Across the nation food deserts disproportionately affect minorities and those struggling with poverty. Health complications associated with nutrition pose an additional barrier to overcoming poverty. Children experiencing malnutrition during critical stages of development are at risk for long term reductions in physical and mental capacity. In a country as resourced as the United States maintaining the well-being of families and children should be a priority for a society concerned with its own future (Juby and Meyer, 2010). Residents of several Omaha neighborhoods are not able to reliably obtain proper nutrition, because of food deserts. This research project is a secondary analysis, rooted in social welfare theory, exploring the nature of food deserts as a social problem in Omaha, describing the development of food deserts and concluding with policy recommendations.

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Mar 8th, 11:15 AM Mar 8th, 11:30 AM

Food Deserts as a Social Problem in Omaha

Milo Bail Student Center Dodge Room B

In recent years, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service has identified food deserts as low-income rural and urban areas that lack access to reasonably priced, nutritious foods due to distance, lack of a car, or insufficient public transportation. There are serious health implications, including obesity, diabetes and malnutrition, associated with food deserts that can greatly reduce quality of life. There are over 23.5 million people living in areas that have been identified as food deserts in the United States. In Douglas and Sarpy counties there are approximately 40,000 people living in food deserts: 11,500 are children under the age of 17 and 4,000 are seniors over the age of 65 (Economic Research Service, 2009). Across the nation food deserts disproportionately affect minorities and those struggling with poverty. Health complications associated with nutrition pose an additional barrier to overcoming poverty. Children experiencing malnutrition during critical stages of development are at risk for long term reductions in physical and mental capacity. In a country as resourced as the United States maintaining the well-being of families and children should be a priority for a society concerned with its own future (Juby and Meyer, 2010). Residents of several Omaha neighborhoods are not able to reliably obtain proper nutrition, because of food deserts. This research project is a secondary analysis, rooted in social welfare theory, exploring the nature of food deserts as a social problem in Omaha, describing the development of food deserts and concluding with policy recommendations.