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Switch to Forum Live View The Poor and Being Fat
3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 12:08PM #1
Erey
Posts: 18,940
I was not sure which board to put this on but we tend to have more food related threads here so I choose the hot topics board. 

www.overcomingbias.com/2011/08/the-poor-...


Apparently that the poor are fat is a myth.  For the last 35 years there is no statistical difference between the poor and the nn-poor when it comes to fatness.


What you do find is the very fat (super obese) and the very thin are disproportionately amoung the poor. 


Contrary to conventional wisdom, … the poor have never had a statistically significant higher prevalence of overweight status at any time in the last 35 years. Despite this empirical evidence, the view that the poor are less healthy in terms of excess accumulation of fat persists.      



Thought some of you would find this interesting. 

This sort of flies in the face of the idea that the poor have to be fat because they can't afford skinny foods.    I think the weight extremes you find in poverty the higher incedents of extreme fatness and extreme thiness are probably refering to people who have  other problems that are more endemic in poverty such as mental illness, drug addiction, etc.  But your average poor person and your average rich person are not going to be statisticaly different weight wise. 

        
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 12:36PM #2
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833
That IS interesting, Erey.

I've sometimes wondered if all my pronouncements about poor people having fewer options to eat a healthy diet were just hot air.

I wonder if part of the reason for this apparent bias is the tendency people have to play that old game, Us vs, THEM. "Must be all them poor people, because it ain't US."

Very interesting...
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 12:59PM #3
Erey
Posts: 18,940

I think it is interesting too, you might look down in the comments section of the article because other people posted data that might be interesting also, breaking it down by racial groups and gender. 


 


I do think those that are affluent are more likely to be thin than average, not super thin but fashionably thin.  But maybe that population is so small as not to effect the study here?


I also think when we talk about the poor there are alot of peopel that don't qualify as poor but are probably considered poor in our understanding of them.  There is a fine line between poor and lower middle class. 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 1:22PM #4
Ur2
Posts: 4,087

Erey,


If you google "poor people are fatter"... You get many well documented studies on many good sites that say, "Poor people are fatter".


Cheap junk food, the price of nutririous food and the availability of it make the poor fatter... according to them. You won't find many major chain grocery stores in poor neighborhoods and some of the reasons given is crime and lack of money to buy "up" in their selections. You can buy more rice, peas, beans, chicken legs and pork neck bones with a hundred dollars than you can the better foods.


I live in a county where the average annual income is $13,300 and we've got some FAT(!) folks around here and a heap of 'em.


Thanx,


Ur2


 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 1:50PM #5
Erey
Posts: 18,940

Aug 19, 2011 -- 1:22PM, Ur2 wrote:


Erey,


If you google "poor people are fatter"... You get many well documented studies on many good sites that say, "Poor people are fatter".


Cheap junk food, the price of nutririous food and the availability of it make the poor fatter... according to them. You won't find many major chain grocery stores in poor neighborhoods and some of the reasons given is crime and lack of money to buy "up" in their selections. You can buy more rice, peas, beans, chicken legs and pork neck bones with a hundred dollars than you can the better foods.


I live in a county where the average annual income is $13,300 and we've got some FAT(!) folks around here and a heap of 'em.


Thanx,


Ur2


 




 You might be right. 


I think maybe how we officialy define fat.  I am overweight according to the medical definition but most people would not call me fat.  So I am an example of a nonpoor person who is fat.  There are plenty of non-poor people like me out there, we might weight more than we want to but people don't think of us as fat.  However probably for the purposes of this data we ARE FAT. 


We think of fat people as super obese which the poor definately has more of that.  But as far as percentage of people who are fat there is no difference between poor and nonpoor. 


This study is taking people who qualify as overweight which is frankly most of us in any income level. 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2011 - 7:53PM #6
MMarcoe
Posts: 16,832

On a much-needed positive note:


Here in Madison, Wis., a new program is providing farmer's market produce to WIC recipients.


Madison is flush with farmer's markets -- our downtown one is the largest producer-only market in the country, and it's got a cool bluegrass musician on the corner of Mifflin and Carroll -- so I think we're in a good position to attack poverty-related obesity.


Incidentally, perhaps it's just that we NOTICE obese people who are poor because it confirms what we want to believe about them.


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3. God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 3:38AM #7
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

Aug 19, 2011 -- 1:22PM, Ur2 wrote:


Erey,


If you google "poor people are fatter"... You get many well documented studies on many good sites that say, "Poor people are fatter".


Cheap junk food, the price of nutririous food and the availability of it make the poor fatter... according to them. You won't find many major chain grocery stores in poor neighborhoods and some of the reasons given is crime and lack of money to buy "up" in their selections. You can buy more rice, peas, beans, chicken legs and pork neck bones with a hundred dollars than you can the better foods.





Funny thing--


Peas are a "better food"--they're a vegetable


Rice is  a "better food"--it's a grain


Beans are a "better food"--they're a legume


Chicken legs are a "better food"--they have a lot of protein.


 


So--apparently you don't even know what "Better food" is--can't imagine what you think is better than grains, protein, veggies and legumes.....

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 8:36AM #8
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,748

The sad fact is that too many Americans, rich, poor, and middle-class, are overweight or obese and the percentages of overweight and obese people has been rising. Too many of us are eating too much food, too much high-calorie, high fat food, and exercising too little. Many people do not know how to cook, or how to plan meals that are high in nutrient value but lower in calories. People can save a lot of money by cooking rather than eating out or eating prepared foods they get from the grocery store. There are many factors that contribute to overweight/obesity, so it's not surprising that there's not a statistically significant difference in obesity rates between poor people and others.


The study Erey cited didn't address the question of whether poor people have less access to healthy food. It didn't address WHY there are obesity problems in different socioeconomic groups. 

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 12:53PM #9
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Aug 20, 2011 -- 3:38AM, Wanderingal wrote:


Aug 19, 2011 -- 1:22PM, Ur2 wrote:


Erey,


If you google "poor people are fatter"... You get many well documented studies on many good sites that say, "Poor people are fatter".


Cheap junk food, the price of nutririous food and the availability of it make the poor fatter... according to them. You won't find many major chain grocery stores in poor neighborhoods and some of the reasons given is crime and lack of money to buy "up" in their selections. You can buy more rice, peas, beans, chicken legs and pork neck bones with a hundred dollars than you can the better foods.





Funny thing--


Peas are a "better food"--they're a vegetable


Rice is  a "better food"--it's a grain


Beans are a "better food"--they're a legume


Chicken legs are a "better food"--they have a lot of protein.


 


So--apparently you don't even know what "Better food" is--can't imagine what you think is better than grains, protein, veggies and legumes.....




 


Most of those foods give me gas.


But then again, that can be a cheap form of entertainment. And when you're poor, you might not have much of an entertainment budget.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 20, 2011 - 1:36PM #10
TemplarS
Posts: 6,865

Well, I've known overweight rich people, and overweight poor people.


But perhaps not all overweight is equal?


Like Erey, I'm probably technically overweight, and I'm certainly not poor.  But so far as I can see, this is not from eating low quality "junk" food.  I hate McDonalds, don't like french fries or most other fried food, I don't eat much cake or pie or cookies for dessert, and I don't drink soft drinks.


I eat a lot of veggies, and I eat a lot of fish and seafood, and I eat a lot of fruit.  But, perhaps, a lot is the operative word.  I eat big portions. I can afford to, in any event, and so can other rich people.  Calories are calories, so the weight goes on.  But I don't consume "empty" calories, so in terms of nutrition I imagine I'm doing okay.  But I wonder if poor people who are overweight  can say the same thing.  Maybe they do in fact consume (or are forced to consume for lack of alternatives) more foods which give the calories but not the nutrition? 

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