Magazine article USA TODAY

Want to Eat Better? Sorry, We're Closed

Magazine article USA TODAY

Want to Eat Better? Sorry, We're Closed

Article excerpt

Getting more nutritious meals on the tables of low-income Americans could depend on the hours the stores in their neighborhoods keep. Stores likely to sell fresh produce are not open as long in areas with more socioeconomic struggles, and that problem is more pronounced in neighborhoods where many African-Americans live, research from Ohio State University, Columbus, has found. In affluent neighborhoods, 24-7 access to a wide array of foods is far more common.

"Let's say you're stringing together a few jobs and you get off work at 10 and your market closes at eight. Ifs a big problem," says Jill Clark, assistant professor in the College of Public Affairs. "It's just another burden that we are placing on families that already have so many burdens."

Advocates and policymakers have invested extensively in working to eliminate food deserts--areas with limited or no large grocery stores or supercenters, but they fall short when they look only at proximity, density, and diversity of food retail stores and ignore the little-discussed problem of operating hours. …

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