Asistel in English
Why are the poor more likely to be overweight?
But research has confirmed that the lower the income and the more often a family doesn’t have enough to eat, the more likely it is the adults and children are or will become overweight. In fact, overweight has replaced malnutrition as the most prevalent nutritional problem among the poor. On the surface, it doesn’t seem logical.
How can both a lack of food and obesity be found in the same individuals and households? One possible reason is that high-fat, high-sugar foods are the cheapest source of calories for low-income people to buy. For example, a large order of french fries – with about 400 calories – costs less than a dollar at some fast food restaurants. For the same money, grocery store shoppers can buy only a single large fresh tomato – packed with nutrients and just 50 calories.
Another possible reason is that low-income people may buy less junk food when money is short, but then indulge in too much when they have cash. It might also be true that the body makes permanent changes in response to food shortages, leading to increased body fat when food becomes available. In spite of all the plausible theories, scientists still don’t know all the factors contributing to the obesity epidemic.
UC scientists studying the issue have made one important finding. Obesity prevention requires that food selection, in times when income is sufficient and even in times when income is low, should always be directed toward healthy choices.
How can this be done? Gardening can help families get exercise while growing healthy food. When visiting food banks, families can request healthful staple foods – such as rice, beans, whole-grain cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. And when using food stamps, they can avoid high-fat, high-sugar convenience groceries.