You know it wasn’t so long ago, that being fat was sign of wealth and being a size zero was sign of poverty.  Well no more.

don_surber.jpgDon Surber wants to know:

For a while, I have questioned why West Virginia, the second-poorest state (thank God for Mississippi), is the third-fattest state (thank God for Wisconsin). Isn’t obesity a disease of the rich, not the poor?


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One Response to “Don Surber: Why are the Poor So Fat?”

  1. At first glance it would stand to reason that it’s not poverty that’s the determining factor in hunger.  I mean, in this country we have a very expensive school lunch program, which is supposedly designed to prevent hunger.  Apparently it’s one of the few things in government that works too well.

    However, Harry Clark, of Melbourne Victoria Australia, wrote last June at his blog…

    Being fat can be caused by not having enough to eat and by being poor. Budget-constrained people eat a lot of junk food because they are not in a position to make healthy food choices. If they live day-to-day on low incomes they will gravitate to pubs and fast food outlets. This is particularly harmful for children of the poor who come to see potato chips and soft drink as food. Poor parents may not be able to afford to feed kids decent high-nutrient food and may end up providing them with the standard high carbohydrate poisons that leave them obese with the danger of diabetes. People in developed countries without access to adequate food tend to be overweight. Partly this is due to lack of information and opportunity but also MacDonalds is an affordable treat for the poor.

    Of course, while his argument makes some degree of sense, his response seems somewhat over the top:

    It is pointless to ban soft-drinks in schools if school kids can ingest more sugar from legally-supplied junk such as doughnuts. No-one likes the nanny state telling us what to eat but stores such as Krispy Kreme are a social negative. We need to bankrupt them by coupling hefty taxes on the poisons they supply that capture the costs to society of the people they help to damage, by providing consumers wiuth information on the effects of eating such so-called ‘food’ and by providing consumers with the education and the opportunities to buy non-junk food.

    the action he proposes, in my view, completely discredits his argument.