Essay Sample: Nutritional Imbalances in the Lower Class in the United States

Published: 2022-03-30
Essay Sample: Nutritional Imbalances in the Lower Class in the United States
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Nutrition
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 965 words
9 min read

Most of the poor people in the United States live in neighborhoods where there is a lack of abundance of a variety of foods. Unlike leafy suburbs, the absence of grocery stores characterizes poor neighborhoods creating a food desert. For instance, the northeast corner of 101st Street and Princeton Avenue in Chicago has a severe lack of grocery stores making the residents travel long distances to buy fresh meat, vegetables, and fruits (Wehunt). Also, in public schools, meals offered are not balanced. Lower class populations usually choose to eat fast foods because they are more affordable and also due to the lack of grocery stores in their neighborhoods. The consumption of fast foods has health implications for these people. It is crucial to understand nutritional imbalances among the lower class population because it predisposes them to specific disease conditions.

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The lack of grocery stores in their neighborhoods contributes to the issue of nutritional imbalance among the less affluent. In Chicago mainly, there is a severe shortage of groceries in some areas. The convenience stores in these regions lack a variety of fruits, and when present they are expensive. The dominant population in these neighborhoods are African-Americans. The lack of grocery stores implies that the inhabitants of these neighborhoods tend to eat dried and fast foods that are available at convenience stores. These foods are usually high in calories. They cause health problems such as obesity, which has a higher prevalence among people of color possibly for this reason. The consumption of high-calorie diet devoid of fruits and vegetables also predisposes to certain conditions such as cardiovascular disorders and diabetes (Wehunt).

In schools, the problem has shifted from the lack of sufficient food to consumption of high quantities of calorie-laden diet. The main problem in schools today regarding food intake is obesity due to eating of too much food high in calories. Obesity results from hyperlipidemia, which refers to high cholesterol levels in the blood. Obesity is more prevalent in Hispanic and children of color than among white children. Several factors underpin the consumption of large quantities of food rich in calories. One significant factor is economic reasons. In the US, the food industry is a booming business. The estimate of food business annually is 1.3 billion dollars (Nestle). Also, is more profitable for firms to sell processed foods such as potato chips and sugared wheat as opposed to selling fresh products. Overconsumption of calorie-rich food is, therefore, emphasized for these reasons. Also, the provision of wholesome meals in schools that is low in calories is usually marred by interference with political factors. There have been efforts by legislators to campaign for the eating of healthy meals at affordable cost by themselves engaging in a challenge to eat healthy meals at five dollars a day (Turque). However, this has a minimal impact on the promotion of healthy eating. The concern here is that schools have the capability of providing nutritious meals to their teachers and students at affordable costs. Therefore, all these political and economic interferences are unnecessary. The campaign by the legislators demonstrated this by simulating the daily food expenditure for individuals regarded as unfortunate (Geraghty).The issue of school meals is of significance because of the increasing rates of obesity among students which predisposes them to various disorders (Nestle).

In the US, there is a new development in the people's preferences of foods. Many people have carbophobia which the fear of consumption of carbohydrates. The concern has caused a decrease in the rates at which carbohydrates are being consumed affecting industries such as bakeries, pasta companies, and potato breeders. Also, there is a prevalence of lipophobia in the recent past. The main reason for the change in the preference of diet for Americans is the campaign against high calories and consumption of foods rich lipids (Pollan). The widespread campaign that healthy eating comprises meals devoid of carbohydrates and fats has led to the development of anxiety regarding eating among Americans. Despite the high popularity of carbophobia and lipophobia in the US, the percentage of people with disorders related to the two is quite high. It is higher than that of the French despite the fact their meals comprises a lot of cheese and wine. The implication of this is that what one eats is not the sole determinant of how healthy a meal is, but how the meal is eaten also counts. In France, people eat meals with delight as most meals are usually served at a table set with many people present. The manner in which they eat could be a possible contribution to their low rates of cardiovascular disorders as their diet is rich in fats. In the US, however, obesity and cardiovascular diseases are highly prevalent despite the emphasis on the consumption of food low in lipids and calories (Pollan). Therefore, it is right to claim that the national eating disorder in the US, where the general public opinion heavily influences people's eating habits is unhealthy and does little to promote good health.

In conclusion, the main problem in the US pertaining hunger is eating disorders. People either overeat or have anxiety about what they eat. The eating disorders are significant because too much or too less of some nutrients predisposes to some diseases. It is, therefore, necessary to cultivate healthy eating habits in the US, and not just emphasize healthy diets.

Works Cited

Geraghty, Jim. "Lawmakers' Headline-Grabbing Food Stamp Diet." National Review, 5 Feb. 2013,

Nestle, Marion. "The Hot Button Issue of School Food and Strategies for Change.",

Pollan, Michael. "Our National Eating Disorder." Michael Pollan, 17 Oct. 2004,

Turque, Bill. "Montgomery Officials Try Eating for $5 a Day." Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2013,

Wehunt, Jennifer. "The Food Desert." Chicago Magazine, 11 Aug. 2009,

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