Hunger and obesity combine as “Bronx Paradox”

The French Paradox considers that rich French foods don’t translate into fat French people. The Bronx Paradox considers the converse: New York’s South Bronx has one of the highest rates of both hunger and obesity in the United States.

Researchers increasingly link obesity to food insecurity — the new, politically correct term for what once was simply called hunger.

In the South Bronx, nearly 37 percent of residents reported no money for food at some point in the previous 12 months. That’s twice the national average. The issue is a combination of financial and physical access to good food. Part of the problem is too few supermarkets in low-income areas, while fast-food opportunities — filling and cheap — abound.

Another component is the tendency to eat while running between the multiple jobs often required to put any kind of food on the table.

Solving this problem requires significant, structural changes. In the meantime, a growing number of organizations work to link farmers with food-desert communities (check out New Roots in Louisville, Kentucky) and farmers markets increasingly accepting SNAP benefits.

(Via the New York Times.)