Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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The Obesity / Poverty Link

January 23, 2013

In light of Monday's post, I found this article from 2010 from the CBC News: Poor and Fat: the link between poverty and fat.

"Many of these factors are also linked to poverty, however. A 2009 study in Montreal, for example, demonstrated that low-income areas have less access to quality food than their high-income equivalents. The prevalence of fast-food restaurants has been shown in other studies to be greater in low-income neighbourhoods. As well, the cost of high-quality food is generally higher than the cost of pop, chips and other high calorie snacks.

Put simply, for those who are poor, it is easier and cheaper to buy junk than it is to buy real food for your kids. Vendors that sell quality food are harder to find and reach, and wise food choices take a bigger chunk of your annual income in the process."

I highly recommend the whole thing, and bookmark it for the next time someone wants to tell you that fresh food is cheaper than fast food (nevermind the time it takes to prep and serve) and so everybody should just stop eating junk already.

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I feel that the "access to food" aspect, while often relevant, does by far not cover enough ground. Being stressed, unhappy, worried, scared, insecure, looked down on, working too much or too little, getting too little sleep -- those things not only sap a person's energy, and eat into their time for self-care, but also show up in their bodies and shove them at least to the upper end of their normal weight range.

Also, not having the time, space, equipment, or energy to prepare your own meals makes fast food a reasonable choice, because what *are* you going to eat?

My weight went down to what is common in my family when I managed to understand on gut level that there would be food tomorrow, time to eat it, money to buy it, and that no one would take it away from me. And I see friends still living in poverty step into a fast food restaurant before work, because they do not know how much energy they will need to get through the day, they don't know when they will be home, if there will be food at home, and if it will be edible.

Giving everyone access to healthy, fresh and affordable food would be a good start. But it can not and should not be the end.

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