There is a new fight against obesity and it is not against food itself. While fast food may be the main culprit behind poor health, a recent study published by Montefiore Health System found unhealthy food ads are placed in low-income communities where nutritional challenges abound.
The Bronx has brought in the wrong kind of attention from advertisers, according to the study conducted by Sean Lucan, M.D., M.P.H., attending physician, for Montefiore Health System’s Family and Social Medicine Department. He and colleagues from Albert Einstein College of Medicine found ads promoting candy, chips, sugary cereals and frozen pizza ads on display more so than healthy food ads at Bronx subway stations. While healthy food was not outright advertised, there were pictures of healthy produce and display ads for the New York City Department of Education’s Summer Food Program.
The Bronx remains the unhealthiest borough in New York City and is consistently linked to high rates of diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol. According to County Health Rankings and Road, which tracks health trends by county, 29 percent of the borough’s population suffers from obesity the most when compared to the rest of the city. Ads containing alcoholic beverages were placed in communities with a higher percentage of children and outnumbered food ads as a whole.
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