Monday, May 22, 2006

Fat is a Feminist Issue

Fat is a Feminist Issue

I have long thought there is a corelation between poverty and obesity.

Seems to me that people know how to eat healthly they just are unable to.

Apparently I was correct in this assumption as a number of studies have been done showing that people are more likely to be obese the lower their level of income.

I think of it like this.

At one time white breads, sugars, cakes the goodies lets call them were only available to the rich and chubbiness was seen as good.

The poor had whole grain breads, berries collected from local fields and forests, porridges, fish from local streams

Then something happened, the way we lived changed, the foods available changed and the medical field realized that the diet the poor were eating was healthier than what the rich were eating.

After a time whole grain foods became the expensive items, root and cruciferous vegetables became more expensive, and the poor were left with the nutritionally challenged foods such as hot dogs, kraft dinner, and other high calorie "filler foods".

there are a number of studies and news articles on this site.

Some of which point to the fact that when young people (most studies focus on girls) are given nutritious school lunches or their families are given food stamps the incidence of obesity decreases.

The best evidence now is that the child nutrition programs contribute to reducing obesity in this country, rather than exacerbating the obesity problem. Broadening access to the programs is a part of the solution, not a part of the obesity problem.

Recently there was a study on Having it All one of the "benefits" of being a working mom was a lower incidence of obesity. Could this in fact be due to a higher household income?

There is a quote from one of the links that of course I can't find now that says it is too easy to tell the poor to subsist on rice and beans, but why should they be denied the fruits and vegetables and other foodstuffs just as vital to a good diet?

This is also a good quote;

"The rich can afford to be thin in America, and the poor can't," says Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the school of public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"If you make a decent income and decide to lose some weight, you can eat grilled chicken, salads and fresh mango, and play a little tennis," says Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington-Seattle. "But a person in a lower-paying job or working two or three jobs is in no position to do that.

"To suggest to the lower middle class or poor that they eat a diet filled with foods like red snapper, radicchio, fresh tomatoes, baby lamb chops, olive oil and merlot wine is blatant economic elitism."

The reason I see this as a feminist issue is that more women tend to be poor, women usually have the responsibility for the children and more senior women tend to be poor.

Not sure how to wrap this up, just that from these studies it appears that what a lot of people need is not more shaming, not cook books, not lectures about health issues, what is needed is an adquate amount of money to buy healthy nutritious foods.


Blogger Anthony said...

There certainly is a link between poverty and obesity. Look no further than the contrast in style between the Whole Foods Market and McDonald's.

Don't know if you have WFMs in your area, but they are certainly up-scale experiences, full of great food at great prices.

Let them eat cake, indeed!

5:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, I seem to remember Harold Ballard being very fat and he was rich as all get. It doesn't cost anything to job or run outside. If you're blaming poverty on obesity, you're stretching things a mite too far.

9:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Alix said...

The plural of anecdote is not data.

No one is saying that individual rich people can't be fat, or individual poor people can't be thin. Of course there are both!

But statistically, on average, poor people tend to be heavier than rich people.

There's a very clear link, and most doctors recognize it. It's one of the "social determinants of health."

9:47 a.m.  
Blogger April Reign said...

Perhaps you would like to read the info and educate yourself on all possible causes before making flip remarks.
No one is saying this is the cause of all obesity.

9:48 a.m.  
Blogger April Reign said...

wanted to add that my comment was to anonymous.

9:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your talk down attitude will get you nowhere.

"The rich can afford to be thin in America, and the poor can't," says Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the school of public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

This is an unbelievable statement. How much does it cost to run or walk??? As well, haven't you ever heard of checking for calorie levels on foods? Try educating yourselves before you blame your economic status on your laziness.

3:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to even put this issue as a feminist one is even more disgusting. How dare you label people like this!

3:49 p.m.  
Blogger April Reign said...

Dear Anonymous

I am so glad I can provide you with something to do.

8:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I shouldn't bother, but anonymous, you've repeated twice now a complete reversal of April Reign's point.

You keep saying that she's saying that obesity causes you to be poor. She's not. She's saying that poverty causes obesity. You have the causal relationship directly backwards.

When you can't afford to eat the best low-fat food, and are dealing with all the other daily difficulties that come along with being poor, it's extremely hard to commit yourself to a good exercise plan. Who will take care of the kids? When will you find the time?


8:51 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that obesity causes one to be poor, you've obviously misinterpreted what I've said. I've said that just because you're poor doesn't mean you're fat. I gave an example of Harold Ballard, I could easily provide more mind you but that's besides the point here. What I am saying is that one can walk or jog free of cost. If you choose not to and eat fatty foods and eat over 1500 calories a day, you're probably going to be fat eventually. This has nothing to do with income. Take a look at any drop-in place and see how many skinny people are there. I would know because my buddy is one and I've accompanied him to these places.

2:27 p.m.  

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