Justice equality and the pursuit of better health


The week before I went on my vacation I listened to Up To Date and found the show eye opening in a lot of ways. It was about poverty and health with guest Harvard public health professor David R. Williams. The conversation was built around how as a country we know race, economic status and education does make a difference with how healthy people are in our country. As you know I’m always left in the dark on how messed up a country is to do studies and announce what the research comes away with but does nothing to fix the issues. That’s really what it always breaks down to, nothing more than studies are done.

There are studies where life expectancy can be determined by your street address. There’s a part of the show where Williams says something about how if all Americans had the health of college educated American our country would save billions of dollars on health care related issues. There lies my issue how is it we can’t get health on an even level? It starts with grocery stores of course, the better the food the better the diet. The problem is there are little to no grocery stores in the inner city, so how does anyone in the hood eat healthier? I’ve been to Hy Vee , Price Chopper and even Sun Fresh and the produce section in those stores are just as big as an entire Thiftway store. It’s crazy that the law makers or some sort of regulating enforcement group can ensure some since of fairness with say this AT&T Tmobile merger but ensuring ALL grocery stores have the same quality of food is out of the their hands?

Maybe I’m thinking way of the box here but if those Grocery stores that are the best of the best invested in a cheaper version of their chain within the inner city things would help out health wise. Better food selection at a ghetto store price. Think about, it’s a win win across the board. You’d have to most likely build a new place = more jobs there, you’d have to hire workers to work there = more jobs there, the delivery outlets may need to add people because now there are more routes = more jobs there, those same companies would need to hire more workers because of the supply and demand has increase = more jobs there, this is from a naive angle of course.  Then there is the saddest fact of this, those in the inner city that feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed in the better neighborhoods at those better stores can now stay in their area and get the same quality of food.

Then there is just health in general, there are no spas and gyms in the inner city. Hell a lot of inner cities have seen their community centers get shut down. You go pass a condo or high end apartment buildings and they have a gym included, the choice to be healthy is there. A gym membership isn’t cheap at all and the YMCA isn’t within everyone’s immediate area. With more options you make better choices, that’s a fact of life. I know many people who when they get a tooth ache go to those dentist schools to have they’re mouth looked at and always end up just having their tooth pulled whether there were other alternatives or not. Where I live now that there are a few apartment buildings that are filled with those “urban explorers” (God knows I hate that fucking term) young adults, a dentist office has popped up. I’ve been six years and in about a year that has just appeared. Guess who isn’t really wanted in there?

That’s what makes this whole gentrification thing beyond upsetting, once a group of people come in the area so does options for things like grocery stores and gyms. As a nation we can easily open up community centers again in the inner city as well as better grocery stores or have programs to ensure the current ones have better produce for their customers. This is health we’re talking about this isn’t higher wages for high school drop outs or free health care for all. This is wondering how can we not afford to ensure the best quality of food and local centers that can help teach a community to be take care of them selves and have facility to do so?  I mean in the past there was that much equality even as a segregated nation.

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