Friday, July 22, 2011

"The Conflation of Poor and Fat"

I saw this the other day on Big Liberty...

"The Conflation of Poor and Fat"

You’ve heard it around. It makes it onto the various fat feeds from time-to-time. It even regularly pops up on Progressive blogs that are otherwise less judgmental of people of size. That is, some version of:

“Poor people are fatter on average because they have less access to the ‘right’ foods and less ability/time to do the ‘right’ exercise.”

I won’t go into the much-pitched and varied solutions to the statement above; rather, I want to talk about the statement above as a statement of fact. Because I’ve rarely been in a space, even a fat-positive space, where the statement above isn’t taken as a statement of fact.

But really, isn’t this just another example of correlation = causation?

She is right to question what is said about poor fat people out there. Obviously they know there is more obesity in the lower classes and those of lower means. The patronizing cries, of the poor need "more education" as if we all live in an intellectual vaccumn, gets on many a poor persons nerves. Even in low-brow magazines, one sees the endless articles on weight loss and healthy vegetables.

The "move more" campaigns are a joke. Where are poor people going to move around, circles around their apartment parking lot? If the neighborhood is unsafe, safety concerns limit the movement. That said, how much do they know they are moving or not moving? Poor people often without cars often have to move and walk more in the city and the rural ones if they are the farm are having to do more phy

The wealthy can buy more lesiure, more activity-shopping, vacations, sports involvement, social interaction. Some of those with money, their lives are regular whirlwinds, while I look at the balance sheet and wonder if I will be able to dig up enough money to even buy some food for dinner towards the end of the month. When poor, you aren't visiting as much, you barely even have can afford the gas to get across town least of all taking a vacation where you would walk and do fun things.

I believe its related to far lower quality food, [Whole Foods Vs Aldis/Save A Lot] which definitely makes a difference. Cheap food is far more adulterated and less nutritious. Compare a loaf of bread that costs some real money compared to the fluff, that tastes like they added acouple cups of saw dust. When I lived in the ghetto, the grocery stores were far lower quality and there was a preponderance of conveinence stores full of high fat food and snack food. To get to the best grocery stores took a 1 and half hour bus ride, or 7 dollars for a cab each way. On the days I felt too tired to do the bus ride and standing there, and too broke to take the cab, things could get scary in terms of even acquiring food. On the edge of neighborhood into a richer area they had this very small old time grocery store, with some food, and vegetables and fruits but the prices were extremely high, only the more well heeled could shop there, I did a couple times to get odds and ends.

I was able to eat better in my small town when I got out of the ghetto. Food was a bit cheaper, and more reasonably priced fruits and vegetables. Here its somewhere inbetween. But the groceries over the years have gotten only more expensive, as the income has dropped.

I believe food is the biggest difference. Sometimes I have stopped by cooking blogs, I think how could they afford all those groceries for that lavish meal? spices, herbs, lean meat? Sometimes run up the tally, 40 bucks per meal couldnt be impossible.

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