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Andrea Vazquez

Andrea Vazquez

HEAC Youth Ambassador

The food desert is South Los Angeles’ biggest and most ignored problem. It’s just amazing how everything is connected, and South LA’s lack of healthy food options is a concrete example of this. The lack of access to healthy food and the overwhelming amount of fast food restaurants have given rise to an astonishing rate of diabetes, which is up there with the violence rate in the area, and yet no one seems to care. What's even more interesting is how everything can be traced back to South LA's complex history. Unfortunately, if nothing is done about this problem obesity rates are going to go through the roof, affecting mostly Latinos and African Americans, since they primary compose the South LA demographic. This is precisely why this topic is so important, because as citizens of this neighborhood we have the obligation to help our own people. Unfortunately, we are the ones who truly know what it’s like not to be able to buy a 100% juice, water, or fresh fruits and vegetables at the local store and suffer the consequences of that.

If we don't change it, who will?

 

 

Cameron McCaa

Cameron McCaa

HEAC Youth Ambassador

I feel that the food desert situation is unfortunate because low-income families cannot afford healthy food and have to travel long distances to find healthy food options. Low-income families generally have to settle for unhealthy fast food versus a Fresh & Easy [market], etc. It affects me because in Los Angeles I am surrounded by unhealthy food options that could possibly pre-diagnose me with numerous ailments that could cut my life short. In addition, my future could be in jeopardy because I could become obese and die early versus living a healthy life that could permit a tremendous amount of physical activity. The food desert has gotten my attention because it does not only affect those I assist in my community but it affects my family. In my family there are three people who have diabetes. Overall, the food desert has become a land of unhealthy opportunities and scarcity of healthy living.

 

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