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Should is or are be used in the following?

A lack of health care systems and access to healthy food options is / are also to blame for their health issues.

I'd appreciate your help.

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A lack of [health care systems] and [access to healthy food options] is / are also to blame for their health issues.

The subject is a noun phrase headed by the singular noun "lack", which has the of preposition phrase as complement. The head of the PP, "of", contains a coordination of complements, as bracketed, but this has no effect on the number of the NP which is determined by the singular "lack".

Which means that the verb-form should also be singular, i.e. "is".

3

Use 'is'. A (one) lack (singular) of two things is being blamed, of health care systems and access to healthy food options. To use 'are' would be to say that a lack of healthcare systems is to blame for health issues, and access to healthy food options is to blame for health issues. The latter does not make sense.

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