New research is indicating that while obesity rates are slowing, poor people and minorities are disproportionately overweight. People are getting more healthy since the nadir of the obesity epidemic in 2005 thanks to better knowledge about what is and isn’t healthy.
This begs the question: Why are poor people more likely to be obese? If a person has less money, doesn’t that mean that the person cannot afford an excess amount of food? The stereotype in films and TV is that a poor person is rail thin like Marnie Bennett. You would think that a poor person also would not own a car, which means they have to walk everywhere and get great exercise on a daily basis.
In America, many people are considered “working poor”. They have full-time jobs but they make very little. Often times their children must stay home. They can’t go out and play unsupervised because they live in unsafe neighborhoods and their parents are busy working.
Being poor is extremely stressful. Bills pile up and children are expensive. One way that many poor people cope with the stress is by overeating. There is a reason McDonald’s advertisements often equate their food with a smile or overabundant happiness.
Not only is unhealthy food cheaper, but usually it can feed more people longer than healthy food.
Even though poor people may not be able to afford a large quantity of food, it is the quality of the food that is causing them to suffer.