Eat Local Convenience Store. CC photo by Flickr user kkanouse

Published on August 4th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe

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Fewer Grocery Stores Means Higher Obesity Rates in L.A.

Convenience Store

Los Angeles is well known for it’s great eats, but not all areas are so lucky. In parts of south and east L.A., many neighborhoods lack access to fresh, healthy food. There areas, called food deserts, have obesity rates three to five times higher than the rest of L.A.

Southern California’s local NPR affiliate, KPCC, recently produced a program on “Navigating L.A.’s Food Deserts” and were kind enough to share a two part video peek with us. Here it is:

You can listen to the whole episode on food deserts on the KPCC website.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by kkanouse

I was not familiar with food deserts until recently. Were you guys aware of the food desert issue? Do you have ready access to fresh produce where you live, or do you have to hike to get your hands on healthy eats?


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



7 Responses to Fewer Grocery Stores Means Higher Obesity Rates in L.A.

  1. Jane L. K. says:

    Great article. This is a problem nationwide. I teach at a Special Education Center in Washington, DC, where my students' parents/guardians typically give their kids (high-fructose corn syrup) soda and a (greasy, fat and salt-filled) bag of chips — for breakfast!
    Michelle Obama has the right idea– a youth anti-obesity campaign. I support it!

  2. I first learned about food deserts when I lived in Philadelphia. There, in poorer parts of the city, grocery stores had problems being profitable, as well as problems with theft and just getting people to work there…so they close down and are replaced by a convenience store, liquor store or something more profitable.

    I have always been fortunate enough to live somewhere with easy access to a grocery store. I actually cannot imagine having to do something like take 2 buses and a train to get groceries. It's terrible.

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