Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780226921921 Published March 2017
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226921945 Published March 2017 Also Available From

Supersizing Urban America

How Inner Cities Got Fast Food with Government Help

Chin Jou

Supersizing Urban America

Chin Jou

248 pages | 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9780226921921 Published March 2017
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226921945 Published March 2017
More than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are over 112,000 obesity-related deaths annually, and for many years, the government has waged a very public war on the problem. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona warned in 2006 that “obesity is the terror within,” going so far as to call it a threat that will “dwarf 9/11.”
 
What doesn’t get mentioned in all this? The fact that the federal government helped create the obesity crisis in the first place—especially where it is strikingly acute, among urban African-American communities. Supersizing Urban America reveals the little-known story of how the U.S. government got into the business of encouraging fast food in inner cities, with unforeseen consequences we are only beginning to understand. Chin Jou begins her story in the late­ 1960s, when predominantly African-American neighborhoods went from having no fast food chain restaurants to being littered with them. She uncovers the federal policies that have helped to subsidize that expansion, including loan guarantees to fast food franchisees, programs intended to promote minority entrepreneurship, and urban revitalization initiatives. During this time, fast food companies also began to relentlessly market to urban African-American consumers. An unintended consequence of these developments was that low-income minority communities were disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.

‚ÄčIn the first book about the U.S. government’s problematic role in promoting fast food in inner-city America, Jou tells a riveting story of the food industry, obesity, and race relations in America that is essential to understanding health and obesity in contemporary urban America.
Contents
Introduction Combating Obesity and Subsidizing Fast Food Expansion
One Solving Urban Challenges through Fast Food
Two Searching for New Urban Markets
Three Creating Fast Food Cities with Government Help
Four Diversifying out of Necessity
Five Shoring Up the Urban Market
Six Making Sense of Recent Fast Food Policies
Seven Unpacking Links Between Fast Food and Obesity
Conclusion Proposing Solutions
Acknowledgments
Appendix
Notes
Index
Review Quotes
Marion Nestle, author of Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (and Winning)
“This page-turner of a book tells a virtually unknown story. Federal policies to assist small businesses deliberately introduced fast-food outlets into low-income minority areas to the benefit of franchise owners while promoting widespread obesity in these communities. For anyone interested in the role of government policy in food, health, and race relations, Supersizing Urban America is a must-read.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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