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Healthy eating only for the rich?

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posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 09:44 PM
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I have seen statistics claiming that 17% of kids aged 2 to 19 years old were overweight.

And that 32% of adults were obese.

Could this be discrimination due to poverty?

The cost of eating healthy is enourmously disproportionate. Is this because the government is subsidizing the crappy foods, making them cheaper?

I came across this graph:





And corn subsidies in particular aren't just why meat is subsidized. It's why things like pop and other types of junk food are so much cheaper than healthy foods (think high-fructose corn syrup), which is also why poor people tend to be more obese, have higher incidences of diabetes, and so on.

Empty and unhealthy calories are just cheaper, and they're cheaper because the government straight-up subsidizes them.


This doesn't seem very fair. The people who cannot afford to eat healthy are stuck with disease and obesity because they cannot afford good food?

Does anyone else think this is disgusting?




posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 10:33 PM
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It is disgusting.

Part of the problem is that the supermarkets that serve "urban" neighborhoods generally suck. The 'good stuff', if they even carry it, is terribly over-priced and the selection of reasonably priced food and beverages are all filled with high-fructose corn syrup (as in, it's the first or second ingredient).

For example, last week, we spent almost $100 at a local market, and we didn't even buy any meat! There are only two people living here, so we spent $90-something dollars on what? Real juice, fresh veggies, etc (ie, things that won't kill you).

Also, with the dollar going down, and the fact that we import a lot of food from Brazil (which has a booming economy), the inequity you point out is only going to get worse. If people couldn't afford the 'good stuff' before, what are they going to do now?

What's even worse is that, when you try to galvanize people into doing something about it, or even being concerned, they point to the obesity statistics and say, "They must be eating well, look at how fat they are."

And what does our government do about it? Subsidize the 'crap distributors'. :shk:

(Sorry to write a whole essay, but I've been thinking about this too.)

Good topic


[edit on 19-11-2007 by HarlemHottie]



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 11:18 PM
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Was just discussing this yesterday. It is a symptom of a very big conspiracy. The food that we are being pumped with is not only unsafe to consume, but it is being fed to us in even supposedly safe foods now under the guise of USDA Organic.



posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 11:30 PM
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The Toronto Star just completed a study showing that diabetes rates are higher in the suburban, poorer neighbourhoods. Look at the donut hole effect! The poorer people without walking access to supermarkets are getting sick. I think lifestyle is a disease too, but poverty really doesn't allow for much time to enrol in the gym and hire a personal trainer.

Then again, how many of the filthy rich are vegan?

Here's the link to the study. (I guess in an american city like Detroit a study like this might find the higher diabetes rates downtown and the lower rates in the affluent suburbs?)

Here's a link to the story. It's a flash map, so click on RATES to view. A very interesting study.

www.thestar.com...

[edit on 19-11-2007 by Brock Gel]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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No, its only the lazy people who are fat.

You can make healthy meals for very little if you put a little time and effort into it but people would just rather have their suspersize McDonalds.

Even if they could only afford bad quality food, theres no excuse for eating the kind of portions these people would have to eat to get them that far overweight.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
No, its only the lazy people who are fat.

You can make healthy meals for very little if you put a little time and effort into it but people would just rather have their suspersize McDonalds.

Even if they could only afford bad quality food, theres no excuse for eating the kind of portions these people would have to eat to get them that far overweight.


Exactly. I can cook a healthy meal for me, the missus and the two sprogs for less than £4 (thats around $8 Mickey Mouse Fun Bucks).

I did an online shop at Tesco the other week, which cost me £60 ($120 MMFB), which lasted 2 weeks. That had plenty of Vegetables, fresh and frozen meat, fruit as well as the odd "treat".

I actually find that all the "bad" food costs at least as much as, if not more, than "good" food. That's here in the UK though, so I can't really carry it across to the US where you have McD's intravenously fed into your veins...



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 


sorry Stu... have to oppose you on that one.

Coming from Denmark I would not say that what Tesco carries is quality food in any aspect. In fact I have a hard time finding something that actually looks tasty and healthy in Tescos. Yesterday I had to check two Tescos for ryebread, and the 2nd one only had one brand... one stinking brand. The rest was white bread and hopefully everyone knows this by now, but whitebread is extremely unhealthy. Yeah, it tastes good... but switch to rye instead, full grain.

However I do appreciate the various organic food shops that are around the Shoreditch areas and this is where the high prices come into view.
The food is great, most of the time you can be pretty sure that it hasn't been sprayed or geneticly manipulated, but unfortunately these foods costs a great deal


Me and my girlfriend tried an experiment for one month where we only ate organics, even the candy was organic. Though the effect might have come from partly a psychological attitude towards the experiment we did feel more in balance and healthier. But... it ruined our economy...
So we are back at buying the mediocre foods from places like Tesco and the local offlicens.

One way to change this problem might be to lower the tax on healthier foods and raise it a bit on the nasty things like McD etc. If the truely healthy food was cheaper I do believe that people with a lower income would start to interest themselves in getting into that.

Hehe... all this talk made me think of ryebread sandwhiches, better go make one
yummy!

Edit: £60 for two weeks! :O in my world that IS expensive. But ofcourse we have to weight it against the contents of that package you got...


[edit on 20/11/07 by flice]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:23 AM
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Coming from Denmark I would not say that what Tesco carries is quality food in any aspect. In fact I have a hard time finding something that actually looks tasty and healthy in Tescos. Yesterday I had to check two Tescos for ryebread, and the 2nd one only had one brand... one stinking brand. The rest was white bread and hopefully everyone knows this by now, but whitebread is extremely unhealthy. Yeah, it tastes good... but switch to rye instead, full grain.


I only buy British where possible and to be honest, the quality of the food is fine. I know white bread is the worst, that's why I personally get wholemeal or granary bread. I am very picky about bread and won't get the cheap loaves as they are crap. I don't do all my shopping at Tesco, sometimes it's Sainsbury's or Waitrose. If you shop about, quality food at a decent price isn't hard to find.



However I do appreciate the various organic food shops that are around the Shoreditch areas and this is where the high prices come into view.
The food is great, most of the time you can be pretty sure that it hasn't been sprayed or geneticly manipulated, but unfortunately these foods costs a great deal


I don't find organic food that expensive. it is only around 10-15% more expensive than "non-organic" food's, in my experience. Admittedly, I won't buy everything organic, but the prices are definately coming down from a few years back.



Me and my girlfriend tried an experiment for one month where we only ate organics, even the candy was organic. Though the effect might have come from partly a psychological attitude towards the experiment we did feel more in balance and healthier. But... it ruined our economy... So we are back at buying the mediocre foods from places like Tesco and the local offlicens.


I can sympathise with that. It is more than "normal" food and going entirely organic would cripple most peoples budget.




One way to change this problem might be to lower the tax on healthier foods and raise it a bit on the nasty things like McD etc. If the truely healthy food was cheaper I do believe that people with a lower income would start to interest themselves in getting into that.


That is actually being looked into by the UK government. It's not just to make people buy healthier food, but being fat and unhealthy drains the economy as people are unable to work (20,000 people in the UK are on incapacity benefit because they are too fat to work!) and it drains the NHS.



Edit: £60 for two weeks! :O in my world that IS expensive. But ofcourse we have to weight it against the contents of that package you got...


For a family of four? Not really!

I probably spend £200-£300/month on groceries, give or take. That's only 10% of my take home each month, so it's not a drain at all.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:25 AM
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look at the smaller italian towns, they eat some of the cheapest + most delicious meals you could ask for. its all good ol fashioned locally grown foods + meals.

okinawa (sp?) japan is another fine example.

while you could say a king eats better because he eats lobster and caviar for brekky, nutritionally + economically its not actually true.

part of the problem for high veg prices (at least in Aus) is because of the drought + heat reducing quality + quantity of veg crops.

one month an iceberg lettuce is $4 and looks like its the crap that fell off a truck and rolled down the road, and yet another time you will go and see the most delicious ones for $1.50.

bananas went to $9 /kg during some recent storms which decimated banana crops.. even now they are still expensive ($4 kg) and sub standard as far as im concerned (i wont buy nana's with a lot of black sections on the skin)

wheat, corn and such is easily produced.. good cheap fruit + veggies seem to suffer a lot more from seasonal events + changes.




[edit on 20/11/07 by Obliv_au]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:32 AM
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I second Obliv_au's post.

Veg here fluctuates with quality and price depending on the weather, as alot of it is locally grown, even the stuff sold in Tesco. Here in the UK we have a big boner about "eating British".

With the recent flooding, potato and wheat prices have sky rocketed, as the flooding destroyed alot of crops. The quality of what was left was also "questionable" in some cases, but at least you know it was in a field and in this country too.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 05:17 AM
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A perfect example are the prices of nutritional staples in many urban supermarkets, as a previous poster touched on. Generally the cheap things are horrible for you. Hot Dogs, etc...dirt cheap but packed with sodium and who knows what else.

On the other hand, the healthier choices such as lean meats, turkey, even chicken cost so much more that it's merely economical to eat poorly. It's really disturbing to me that fresh produce costs as much as it does.

I know that many of you are thinking that I've gone nuts, these foods can't be that expensive! But the truth of the matter is that a large percentage of our country cannot afford to put proper nutrition on the table for their children, who learn bad eating habits at an early age. I believe in the majority of the country that minimum wage is 7.00 or lower, per hour. This is not even close to the amount needed to properly feed oneself, with other obligations such as rent, utilities, and transportation, be it public transport or fuel/insurance.

Unfortunately, prices keep rising for just about everything out there. Even since I was a kid (less than a decade ago!) I've seen a marked increase in the price of many things. Milk, in my part of the country costs almost 5.00 per gallon.


The underlying problem is that our Middle class is being eroded away, from the bottom up. I've seen as much as 1/3 (yep) of my paycheck being given to good old Uncle Sam, and yet I am told that I am receiving tax break after tax break. Something is not adding up here.


The problem, as I see it lies in the fact that we in America do not have any set guideline for a minimum amount needed to provide for what are the necessities for us these days, which include:

Health Care
Nutritional Balance in the Lower and Middle Classes
Transportation (it is just illogical to try to walk anywhere in a large urban sprawl)
Proper Education (News Flash: America's current public school system is NOT cutting it.)

An establishment of a 'minimum requirement for health' in all aspects of our life should be established. A sort of per-capita guarantee for working citizens. It's not right that a man should have to hold down two jobs to feed his children, yet his rent is never on time. In the minds of people who live paycheck to paycheck, those who have to pick and choose what bills they can pay this month, life is a daily struggle.

These are the things that we in America need to have, or we face a continual (if gradual) destruction of our way of life, our peace, and ultimately our 'place' (Let's face it, if you do not have these things all properly addressed in your life, you are a 'have not')

People should not have to struggle in such a 'free country' to live a healthy, happy life, and we should be able to have certain things guaranteed in this country, if we are indeed as great as we think. I'm not an enemy of free enterprise, nor am I saying that we need to live in a communist society.

I think that the same nutritional, and educational, and truly all opportunities should be available to all, regardless of income level. It's quite easy to SAY that we are all equal in America, that we all have an equal voice, an equal power within our government. But the plain fact of the matter is that that is not true. While not doomed to remain stuck in the drudgery of the lower class, someone who must struggle to make it through life has less energy to learn, to make positive choices, or to benefit his community through neighborliness or volunteer work.

I do not oppose individuals, but rather I favor a large group of individuals working together as a group, a unit that works together for the benefit of all. I think that in America we've lost sight of our fellow man. Food prices are far too high for low income families to adequately provide for their families, and the same is true for more than just the supermarket. We need to realize the everyday struggles that go on here on our own home soil. Is this really the pursuit of happiness we were all guaranteed?



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 05:24 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
No, its only the lazy people who are fat.

You can make healthy meals for very little if you put a little time and effort into it but people would just rather have their suspersize McDonalds.

Even if they could only afford bad quality food, theres no excuse for eating the kind of portions these people would have to eat to get them that far overweight.


This is probably one of the more ignorant things I've read today. While McDonalds does not help the matter in the slightest, not all fat people are lazy, and not all lazy people are fat. Some have Thyroid issues. Others simply can't seem to keep the weight off, no matter what.

You do, however have one point, and that is that portions in America, are, in a word, redonkulous.

Genetics is more to blame for obesity than laziness, though. Bad genes and a slightly poor diet is an instant recipe for obesity.

The laziest man I know weighs 120 lbs and eats junk at least twice a day, and rarely if ever works out.



[edit on 11-20-2007 by Loki]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 05:26 AM
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not poverty. if you want someone to make you an organic meal, of course it's more than fast food... but nothing is cheaper than buying some fresh produce from the farmer's market and cleaning / cooking it yourself. Best of all, you know what goes into it, every step of the way. All of that added salt / sugar / garbage they put into fast food and prepackaged foods actually make it more expensive.

This isn't to say that a cheeseburger doesn't taste good, however I just don't eat any of that crap because it makes me physically sick now. It can be expensive at times, but moderation is the key. For example, instead of buying something at the drive-through, stop by your local grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken, for $5-6. It will feed 2 people, and I would argue it's got more chicken than any chicken nuggets you could order. Grab a gallon of water to drink (



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by scientist
Speaking of kids, the reason they are so out of shape is due to the unhealthy school menus they are indoctrinated with, soda machines in the hallways, and targeted marketing.
[edit on 20-11-2007 by scientist]


Very good points, although I would like to point out that I myself enjoy enough comfort to eat well now, it was not always so. There is a reason that things like Ramen Noodles still exist, and it's not just college students


Ever tried to shop for two people on fifty bucks for two weeks? Things begin to look grim very quickly. Imagine trying to shop for four or five on double that, even triple.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 05:58 AM
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I believe if the governments of all countries wanted to reduce heart disease and diabetes etc they WOULD seriously discount or subsidize veggies, fruits etc etc and tax McD's etc.

Red LEAN meat should be subsidized, more controls of what goes into the foods we eat and then ensure that prices are controlled better so that one doesn't spend a months grocery costs in one week as is so easy done at some stores.

We generally eat healthy and we certainly have no health issues. But still, if it were sometimes easier to throw a quick meal together that was healthy it would make life easy at those crazy times. We seem to spend more time preparing our meals for the sake of health but tend to, when in a hurry, throw something together that goes against the grain (excuse the pun). Healthy foods seem to take longer to prepare unless one is vegan and throws a few leaves into a bowl.

It is also cheaper to buy chicken breasts and debone and skin one's self than to buy say 8 meals a month worth of boneless skinless chicken breasts. It adds up in the end. So when it comes to haste we either get a pizza or something.

It would be great for the governments to subsidize the RIGHT foods for a healthy lifestyle.

Ok i had a rant...



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by Loki

This is probably one of the more ignorant things I've read today. While McDonalds does not help the matter in the slightest, not all fat people are lazy, and not all lazy people are fat. Some have Thyroid issues. Others simply can't seem to keep the weight off, no matter what.


Thats very ironic because I cant exercise through multiple operations on a sports injuries and I put on 30lbs since then.

Ive just lost 20 lbs through eating better and not as much as I had before and that is without any exercise at all.

The bottom line is you dont put on weight if you dont eat the calories and fat people have only themselves to blame, I blamed myself for putting on weight and corrected it.

People who blame other reasons than themselves for being fat, a smoker or an alcoholic will never rectify their problem unless they take responsibility for what they are putting into their own bodies.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 06:12 AM
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just to touch further on what i was saying, in the countries mentioned these people arent shopping from the largest supermarkets coz they shop from a traditional corner grocer type store.

our problem in western worlds is that large supermarket chains can also drive up the price of fruit and veg + meat by market domination.

woolworths in au have this big "fresh from the farmer to you" thing going on but in reality they come in and offer some farmer a pittance for his ENTIRE crop in one purchase.

the farmer then either sells his entire crop at once for a pittance, or he takes it to various local markets + other channels to earn a decent living from his hard work as a farmer at the expense of more time and effort to himself

wooly's then take that entire crop and sell it in their stores at a ridiculous mark up. first they shaft the farmer then they shaft you, all the while listening to the sound of cash entering cash registers.

if you can shop at a fruit n veg store, or local markets then you can get some bloody great bargains.
buy at the major supermarket chains and all you can afford is a tin of re-fried beans and tofu turkey for thanks giving instead of a real meal.

(tofu turkey joke related to another thread)


[edit on 20/11/07 by Obliv_au]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 06:20 AM
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It does kinda seem like a trap...

in college I was broke one month and loaded the next and depending on the job mostly worked during the dinner or lunch hours and it was just soo much easier to stop for a quick burger and fries then go home turn oven on etc....

although i have to agree its largely due to people being lazy but i am sympathetic because honestly 2 dollars of cheeseburger will hold me over but 2 dollars of salad and im looking for something in an hour.


great thread topic.



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by Obliv_au
our problem in western worlds is that large supermarket chains can also drive up the price of fruit and veg + meat by market domination.


That may be the case where your at, but that's surely the fault of bad planning and lax competition laws? Allowing just one chain to dominate an area is silly. You wouldn't let just one Airline fly out of an Airport, would you?

Here in the UK, we have a thing that is known as "Store Wars" where prices are driven down by competition between the big supermarkets, of which we have about 4 really big ones:

Tesco
ASDA
Sainsbury
Morrisons

There are smaller chains too, like Iceland and Kwik-Save.

In most big towns/cities, you will find at least 2 of the big 4. In Reading, where I live, there is all 4. Planning regulations will prohibit one store from dominating an area. Tesco's are regularly refused permission to build unless another chain come's into the town as well.

They are ALWAYS competing in prices. So much so, each of them checks the other's prices and compares them on their websites, so you can see who is cheapest.

Bottom line, there is no excuse for eating rubbish. For the £3 you spend on a multi-bag of crisps, you could buy enough veg for 3-4 meals. For the £2 they charge for multi packets of Mars bars, you could get fresh meat.

I also don't buy this whole "It's not their fault they are a fat bastard" routine.

Fine, some people have slower metabolisms, but in nearly every case where I see someone overweight, when you look into what they eat on a daily basis, it contains rubbish. Crisps, chocolate, fats food and instant meals feature highly on their "diet".

If you have a slower metabolism, then don't eat so much food that has a high calorific content, high fat or high salt. It's not bloody rocket science is it?

But then again, from what I see here in the UK, the "poor" lower classes, who are invariably ill-fed and fat, are also somewhat on the..... low IQ side.

[edit on 20/11/07 by stumason]



posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by Obliv_au
wooly's then take that entire crop and sell it in their stores at a ridiculous mark up. first they shaft the farmer then they shaft you, all the while listening to the sound of cash entering cash registers.


Yep, that sounds like woolys for sure. We have woolys in SA too and they have great quality stuff and absolute rip off prices and this too because they have a woolys card and people buy on credit and then pay food off over 6 months LMAO now that is ludicrous.



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