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95 Calif. L. Rev. 2221 (2007)
Fast Food: Oppression through Poor Nutrition

handle is hein.journals/calr95 and id is 2235 raw text is: Fast Food: Oppression Through Poor
Andrea Freemant
Fast food has become a major source of nutrition in low-income, urban
neighborhoods across the United States. Although some social and cultural
factors account for fast food's overwhelming popularity, targeted marketing,
infiltration into schools, government subsidies, and federal food policy each
play a significant role in denying inner-city people of color access to healthy
food. The overabundance of fast food and lack of access to healthier foods, in
turn, have increased African American and Latino communities' vulnerability
to food-related death and disease.' Structural perpetuation of this race- and
class-based health crisis constitutes food oppression.
Popular culture has raised some awareness of the deleterious effects of
fast food, but media delivering this message often fails to reach the
communities suffering the greatest harm. Even where efforts at education
succeed, government support of the fast food industry severely limits dietary
choices for low-income, urban African Americans and Latinos. To eradicate
food oppression and improve health and life expectancy in these communities,
activists must lobby for drastic changes in law, policy, and education.
Individuals and groups have mounted attacks on food oppression through
litigation, education, lobbying, and community-based organization. These
efforts must continue and grow if they are to effect real and meaningful change.
West Oakland, California, a neighborhood of 30,000 people populated
primarily by African Americans and Latinos, has one supermarket and thirty-
six liquor and convenience stores. The supermarket is not accessible on foot to
Copyright © 2007 California Law Review, Inc. California Law Review, Inc. (CLR) is a
California nonprofit eorporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of
their publications.
t   J.D. University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) 2006. Many thanks to Angela P.
Harris for her inspiration, enlightenment, and support. Thanks also to Ian Haney Lopez, Joy
Sherrod, Stacy Lawrence, Molly Van Houweling, and Joseph Speciale.
1. Food-related diseases and deaths include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, sleep apnea, and


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