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Fast food and healthcare

May 02, 2008

Re "Study maps fast food, health," April 29.

As a nursing student, I have worked in a variety of hospitals, from private to county funded, and I've witnessed that patients with less money and access to healthcare do not go to the next town to buy an $8 organic salad. Instead, they go to the McDonald's for three $1 cheeseburgers.

Access to healthcare is dependent on location and cost, and the same is true for food. Why is healthy food so much more expensive?

The fast-food-to-produce vendor ratio is 4 to 1. We cannot conceivably equalize this ratio, but we can educate patients and help them control what they eat. Bad eating habits lead to bad health outcomes. We live in a junk-food jungle where obesity and diabetes reign. It is up to us to tame those beasts.

Carla Teehankee

San Francisco

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