Blacks Lack Selection

Aug 05, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

USA Today reports a study conducted by Community Health Councils Inc., the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) has found grocery stores in predominantly black neighborhoods offer less healthful foods than stores in primarily white neighborhoods.

Conclusions from the study published in the July issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine found:

• Skim milk was carried in 38 percent of stores in the black communities compared with 80% in white neighborhoods.

• Seventy percent of black neighborhood grocery stores sold fruits and vegetables while 94 percent of those in white areas did the same.

• Black neighborhoods had less produce variety from which to choose from and it was lower in quality than white communities. The average black neighborhood store offered 13 fruits and 21 vegetables. In predominantly white areas, stores offered an average of 26 fruits and 38 vegetables.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the findings of this research?

David Sloane, associate professor of policy, planning and development, USC said the communities were served by very different retailers. He told USA Today,
“In West Los Angeles, they tend to be larger chain stores. In South Los Angeles, they tend to be more mom-and-pop stores. … They don’t have a strong a relationship with distributors
to get as great a variety of goods, and so the result is people have a fewer choices of healthy items.”
Anderson – Moderator


Food fright: Black neighborhoods in L.A. have poor choice – USA Today

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