For most of recorded history, fat was revered as a sign of health and prosperity. Plumpness was a status symbol. It showed that you did not have to engage in manual labor for your sustenance. And it meant that you could afford plentiful quantities of food.
Rich people were fat. Poor people were thin.
Today, the polar opposite is true. Numerous studies show that low-income children and adults are far more likely to be overweight than those of greater means. And the statistical distribution fits a nice, neat curve – as income falls, the rate of obesity rises.
This is a graph showing Income vs Obesity levels in a study done in Utah
Professor and obesity researcher Dr. Adam Drewnowski set out to determine why income is the most reliable predictor of obesity in the U.S. To do this, he took a hypothetical dollar to the grocery store. His goal was to purchase as many calories as possible per dollar.
What he found is that he could buy well over 1,000 calories of cookies or potato chips. But his dollar would only buy 250 calories of carrots. He could buy almost 900 calories of soda… but only 170 calories of orange juice.
If you are poor and hungry, you are obviously going to buy the cheapest calories you can find. And in today’s world, the cheapest calories come from junk foods – whether those foods are found at the grocery store, the gas station, or in the fast food restaurant, conveniently located just down the street.
But this raises another question. How can industrially-processed foods and their associated marketing costs be so much cheaper than real, whole foods produced from water, seeds and sunlight?
In a New York Times article, author Michael Pollan asks this very question…
“Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudo-cakes for less than a bunch of roots?”
Pollan goes on to answer his own question…
“The Twinkie is basically a clever arrangement of carbohydrates and fats teased out of corn, soybeans and wheat – three of the five commodity crops that the farm bill supports, to the tune of some $25 billion a year.”
The primary reason that lower-income people are more overweight is because the unhealthiest and most fattening foods are the cheapest. If you were broke and had just three dollars to spend on food today, would you buy a head of broccoli or a Super Value Meal with French fries, a cheeseburger and a Coke?
Because you’re reading this, you might choose the former. But for most people who have very little to spend on food, the choice is clear.
And make no mistake. This does not represent a failure of the capitalist free-market system. Modern agri-business and government food policy represents a perverted version of capitalism – crony capitalism – where those with the most money and the most powerful friends in government control the markets.
What they have done is use your tax dollars to subsidize certain commodity crops (at the expense of others) to ensure that the cost of oils, sugar and grains stay artificially low. With low input costs, food manufacturers can turn a tidy profit. The end result is that processed foods – even though they require more technology, more labor and more marketing to produce and sell – are cheaper to the consumer than real, whole foods.
Consider that between 1985 and 2000, the inflation-adjusted prices of fruits and vegetables increased by an average of 40%. During the same period of time the real price of soft drinks fell by almost 25%.
There is no doubt that obesity has become a public health crisis. But because most politicians either do not understand the issue or are too corrupt to do the right thing, most “solutions” to this crisis are completely wrongheaded.
Some politicians are calling for a tax on fat people themselves. Currently, many state governments have imposed taxes on soft drinks and junk foods. And calls are growing louder for similar taxes at the federal level.
It is completely insane that in a country where the surgeon general has identified “an epidemic of obesity” that we are simultaneously subsidizing the production of high-fructose corn syrup. It is equally insane that the government is helping to artificially lower the cost of foods that are driving up national healthcare costs (i.e. killing us), while having a national healthcare debate about how we are going to pay for those costs. (the above is from John Herring, Total Health Breakthroughs Editor)
So what can You do about it?
I don’t like building the problem without being part of the solution.
- Vote Differently and Get Involved in spreading Awareness of the Fraud being Forced upon the American People! If Subsidies are the problem, then vote to get rid of the subsidies.
- Support your local farmer’s markets: Yes they can be more expensive, but ONLY if you are shopping for Calories vs Nutrients. If you are shopping for Nutrients, Real Food is SO much Cheaper! We get Way to many junk calories anyway.
- Health Secret: the FOODS you buy should not Have ingredients, they should Be ingredients.
You can have Cheap Calories Now, and Disease Later. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and chronically low energy levels are the end result of eating all that Processed Garbage.
We take our clients Healthy Grocery Shopping in regular grocery stores. And we show them how to Save some serious money in the process! Knowledge and Strategy are potent weapons – why not use them to improve your health, shrink your waistline, and keep more cash in your wallet!
If you are ready to change your health permanently and for the better, contact me Today and we will sit down and start improving your healthy (and melting pounds) Today!