Someday I’ll have an academic explain how a study can be written and published when right in its text it admits that the concept in question fails to be validated. In the case of (US) food deserts:
Perhaps because of the wide variety of measures used and places examined,Characteristics and Influential
study results have not reached a consensus on the characteristics of areas
that lack access to healthy food. Studies have produced conflicting results as
to the correlation among race, income, and access to healthy and affordable
food. Many researchers have concluded that neighborhoods consisting
primarily of minorities—in particular, African Americans—with low
incomes have fewer supermarkets than wealthier, predominantly White
neighborhoods (Berg and Murdoch, 2008; Powell et al., 2006; Block et al.,
2008; Larson et al., 2009). Others, however, have found either no correlation,
or that minority and low-income neighborhoods have a greater number of
grocery stores and are closer to these stores than wealthier areas (Alwitt
and Donley, 1997; Moore and Diez Roux, 2006; Opfer, 2010; and Sharkey
and Horel, 2008). These mixed results may not be surprising because these
studies are of localized areas. However, results from the two national-level
studies are also inconclusive. Powell et al. (2006) found that ZIP Codes with
more minorities and lower income populations had fewer chain supermarkets
but more nonchain supermarkets. USDA (2009) found that, on average,
low-income and minority populations were closer to supermarkets than
higher income individuals and non-Hispanic Whites.
Factors of Food Deserts, by Paula Dutko
Michele Ver Ploeg
I don’t get it.
Are there truly so few good ideas that we have to pursue those which have no backing? Are we such a wealthy country that we can afford to throw money at inconclusive results?
Or do we want so badly to offer an answer, that a corruption is better than nothing at all?