White House Takes on Obesity Fight

"I can't afford it," Amy Earley, a mother of three, told the Green Bay Press Gazette. "You're supposed to have how many servings of fruit and vegetables a day? I might have an apple. I'm lucky if I have one."

Like Earley, low-income families across the country have trouble affording fresh fruits and vegetables, much less actually finding them in their neighborhoods. But government funds should start making healthier foods more accessible for all Americans.

Under the action plan presented by the Childhood Obesity Task Force along with First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House aims to promote better access to healthy foods for all Americans as part of 124 pages worth of efforts to help kids lose weight.

Addressing a Lack of Access

Low-income families have long been resorting to unhealthy fast food and processed, packaged foods since it’s often easier to get a full meal on a dollar’s worth of fast food than a dollar’s worth of fruit. In turn, there’s little demand and therefore limited (if any) supply of fresh produce available, according to the task force’s report to President Obama.

What’s more, the prices on fruits and vegetables and the sheer volume required to meet nutrition recommendations – nine servings a day per person – can seem financially daunting for some.

Some lower-income neighborhoods tend to have plenty of fast food restaurants and discount stores like Target (Stock Quote: TGT) but no stores that sell fresh produce, notes Today’s Dietitian. And when fruits and vegetables are available, they might not sell well, quality may be subpar and, as a result, junk food can be all the more appealing.

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