Small-Town Elitist

October 18, 2009

Food access and fighting obesity…

It seems lately everywhere I turn, people are discussing the disparities in access to food for people who struggle financially, and who have always struggled this way. I have especially been thinking about this subject since Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars wrote about the subject of overweight and obese people being forced to pay more for health insurance.

Under the BMI, I am considered obese. Even though I am actually quite healthy, I still feel it’s important for me to take on my health. But, for quite a while, my finances, and the structure of my community in the San Joaquin Valley, have made things rough. For the longest time, I had no where to walk or jog for fitness where I felt safe to do so. Unfortunately, trying to do that in my neighborhood brings up attention I don’t want, from men I want nothing to do with (street harrassment). Joining a fitness club in town was not always financially possible, either.

Thankfully, in more recent times, our town has created a fitness center next to one of the public swimming pools. There, for $30 a month, or $2 per individual session, we can have access to treadmills, stationery bikes, weight training equipment, and other types of equipment. There’s the basketball court also, and of course the public swimming pool. It’s been a very positive development, and I love going there to exercise. And even though the center is used by both genders, I feel very comfortable using it.

Another new development, which I like, but need to pay attention to, is our town recently got its own Fresh & Easy market. I was wowed by the organic and/or vegan foods they had, which we’ve never had access to here. However, the Center for Food and Justice cautions people to pay attention to whether they are organic, and they challenge Fresh & Easy to build in more places where they desprately need better food, such as South Central Los Angeles. Like Season of the Bitch says, it’s still not that easy for people who need access to better foods, but at least I think this is a good start.

Advertisements

Blog at WordPress.com.