Fast Food: Oppression Through Poor Nutrition

33 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2010

See all articles by Andrea Freeman

Andrea Freeman

University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law

Date Written: 2007


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.

Keywords: fast food, food oppression

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Andrea, Fast Food: Oppression Through Poor Nutrition (2007). California Law Review, Vol. 95, No. 2221, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Andrea Freeman (Contact Author)

University of Hawai'i William S. Richardson School of Law ( email )

Honolulu, HI 96822-2350
United States

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