Hey Michelle, inner cities are really lush food oases

It seems Michelle Obama will have to find another big government knows best activity in between planning for, going on and recovering from vacations. Writing in the New York Times, Gina Kolata analyzes studies that reveal, contrary to Ms. Obama's description of poor inner city neighborhoods as food deserts where food establishments only offer unhealthy high calorie chips, liquor and limp lettuce

Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. (snip) Poor neighborhoods, Dr. Lee found, had nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier ones, and they had more than three times as many corner stores per square mile. But they also had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile.

But if these poor neighborhoods are actually lush food oases with healthy food options readily available well, why are a higher proportion of its residents uhm...heavier than average? The studies indicate

there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.


Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data.

"It is always easy to advocate for more grocery stores," said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, who was not involved in the studies. "But if you are looking for what you hope will change obesity, healthy food access is probably just wishful thinking."


Living close to supermarkets or grocers did not make students thin and living close to fast food outlets did not make them fat.


So, discounting for some unusual health or body chemistry problems, is it possible that people are overweight because...uhm, radical thought...they choose to eat too much unhealthy, high caloric food while expending minimal calories? In other words, it is their own fault?

In one neighborhood in Camden, N.J., where 80 percent of children are eligible for a free school lunch, children bought empanadas, sodas and candy at a grocer, while adults said they had no trouble finding produce.

Somehow children--or their parents--so poverty stricken they were eligible for a free school lunch managed to come up with real cash to select their own food in a for profit, private institution instead of chowing down on free, healthy food selected for them by their government betters.

But...but...does this mean that the individual is actually responsible for her/his own health? In this day and instant public information age how many people still believe that a heavy diet of chips, french fries, soda pop, alcohol and fast food chicken, pizza and burgers is healthy? That a healthy response to Michelle Obama's Let's Move is fingers tapping quickly on mobile devices?

The urban poor, like everyone else, know this isn't true.

Therefore, in "fighting obesity" there is no need for a government

"comprehensive response." The federal effort, he added, includes not just improving access to healthy foods but also improving food in schools, increasing physical education time, and educating people on the importance of healthy diets.

In other words a government $400,000,000 annual Healthy Food Financing Initiative. is unnecessary.

In other words, the individuals and the parents of children have to take responsibility.

So Let's love to that Michelle. The benefits are outstanding. And economical.