Over the weekend, I had a discussion with someone who remarked on how America is perhaps the only country where “the poor are fatter than the rich.”
I don’t know if we’re the only country where those with a lower income tend to have a higher body mass index, but it interesting to think about why this is.
About one in eight people in the US are on food stamps, a quarter of them children, and living off of roughly three dollars a day. That doesn’t make it easy to cover one’s basic nutritional needs, which causes many people to fill up on cheap, high-calorie foods with little nutritional value.
It seems unfair that foods people really need cost so much. I mean, I spent two bucks on a container of strawberries yesterday, and that’s considered a bargain in New York! In a lot of ways, it’s like an entire population is excluded from the healthy-eating discussion. Yeah, you can tell someone to eat salmon to get their omega-3s, but a 6-ounce fillet will run you at least five dollars. For someone trying to feed a family on a fixed income, that’s just not going to happen.
Stocking up on basics like brown rice and dried beans is a good start, but we have to get more information out there and work to make it more possible to eat well on a budget. I totally sound like an idealist, but it could happen…
Here’s an article about the challenges of being on a “food-stamp diet.”