Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK, October 29, 2012
FAIRBANKS — In parts of the U.S., a person would be hard pressed to find a grocery store, said Ellen Lopez, a researcher at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research.
Fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and grains — essential foods for healthy living — can’t be found for block after block.
“It’s called a food desert,” said Lopez, who is also an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
It’s also called a health disparity, she points out. A health disparity is social or economic barrier to good health faced by a certain group of people, and not faced by the majority, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Health disparities are unfair, unjust and avoidable, as well as a matter between life and death, according to a report by the World Health Organization.