Describing the problem
Food Deserts have become a significant problem within the United States. According to research conducted by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 23 million people are now living in areas throughout the country that do not have supermarkets and groceries that supply healthy and fresh foods. An area is described as a food desert if it has few or no supply of healthy and fresh food products. Thus, areas with few or no supermarkets and groceries are known as food deserts. Food Deserts have become a problem in the United States, to be specific, in Pennsylvania, as people lack healthy and fresh food products that are essential for their living (McDonald, 2010). It aims at providing plenty of food to its citizens (Winne, 2008). One health policy that has faced challenges in the US in the recent years is access to healthy and fresh food (Hinrichs & Lyson, 2007). This challenge is as a result of the diminishing number of supermarkets and grocery stores across the country (Alkon & Agyeman, 2011). More entrepreneurs are shifting their investments from food products and this is impacting negatively on the health policy (Babu et al, 2014).
The health sector is one of the most important sectors in Pennsylvania (Schlosser, 2001). Improving the health sector has helped ensure the safety of the American citizens (Saul, 2011). Thus, the interest of the government and the citizens has been to establish or rather come up with health policies such as access to healthy and fresh food (McGuire & Beerman, 2013).
Specification of issues
Food Deserts is described as a public health issue, as people do not have access to healthy and fresh foods due to the lack of supermarkets and groceries to supply the products. A public health frame is characterized by elements such as lack of products and facilities which affects the health of the public. Besides, Food Deserts can also be described as a medical problem because the lack of access to supermarkets or grocery stores is likely to lead to poor eating habits which can be attributed to high obesity and can lead to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and multiple other health problems. Food Deserts are an economic problem because healthy and fresh food geographically is not close enough for low-income community to attain. In addition, healthy and fresh food is available only at high prices in the available supermarkets and grocery stores. High prices thus lead poor people to rely on unhealthy food that is cheaper than nutritious food. (In Roche & United States, 2013). There are programs that have been put in place to ensure more supermarkets and grocery stores are established so as to solve the health problem (De, 2008). It should also be noted that effective implementation of health policies in Pennsylvania has played an integral role in improving the living standards of the citizens (Dutko, 2013).
Lack of access to healthy and fresh foods in Pennsylvania State in the US can be solved in a number of ways (McEntee, 2007). To begin with, the government should ensure that more supermarkets and grocery stores are put up so as to increase the supply of fresh and healthy foods to the American citizens (Hesterman, 2011). Besides, the hygiene of the existing stores and supermarkets should be emphasized as this will ensure citizens get healthy and hygienic food (White & Duram, 2013). In addition, the prices of the food products in the stores should be made affordable to enhance easy accessibility for the citizens (Holt-Giménez et al, 2009).
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