" BOSTON (CBS) – They’re called “food deserts,” or areas where it’s hard to find healthy, affordable groceries.
Government officials, including Mayor Tom Menino and First Lady Michelle Obama, say wiping those areas out is the key to easing the childhood obesity epidemic.
That problem now turns out to be not quite as big as some have claimed.
Mrs. Obama has been leading the charge for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal spending to bring nutritious food options to mostly-poor neighborhoods.
“Tackling the issue of accessibility and affordability is key to achieving the overall goal of solving childhood obesity in this generation,” said Mrs. Obama.
The New York Times reports that’s been debunked by recent studies, concluding that most low-income areas have greater access to both fast food outlets and to stores selling more nutritious products, and questioning whether food access is really a factor in childhood obesity.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was in Boston to talk urban food policy with Mayor Menino, flatly rejected the findings "
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