Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government Help by Chin Jou

Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government Help

byChin Jou

Hardcover | March 15, 2017

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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.

?In 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.

About The Author

Chin Jou is a lecturer in American history at the University of Sydney.   

Details & Specs

Title:Supersizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government HelpFormat:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:March 15, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226921921

ISBN - 13:9780226921921

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Extra Content

Table of 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

Editorial Reviews

“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.”