What does poverty look like in Britain? An emaciated young child, perhaps? Not exactly. Studies about the predictors of obesity in the UK have shown that the poorest are most likely to be obese.Oh, here we go...
Vexingly, research about the causes of obesity in high-income countries has shown that more deprived areas tend to have fewer outlets offering healthy foods. What's worse, a basket of healthy food would cost more in a poor part of east London, for example, than it would in somewhere like Fulham. In this way, deprived areas in developed countries, termed "food deserts" in the academic literature about obesity, fundamentally limit the food choices that poor people can make, thereby promoting unhealthy lifestyles, and ultimately, obesity.It's not their fault! It's the capitalists, innit?
Another issue is what is termed "food insecurity", or lack of regular, dependable access to food. This can also promote obesity. Imagine that you didn't know where your next meal would come from, and you had a large meal in front of you at the time: what would you do? I would eat the whole thing (probably more than my fill), so that if, in fact, I didn't get a meal later, I would have eaten enough for the day.So, where's this sudden feast/famine coming from? Is it synchronised with their giro cheques, or something?
Now, what if the next meal did come (again, in the same setting of insecurity about where the next meal would come from)? A cycle of insecurity-based overconsumption can set in, ultimately leading to obesity.
…conceptions of obesity typically fail to reflect the structural determinants of the condition: rather, we consider obesity as the accumulation of bad choices that individuals make at the dinner table or at snack time – too many biscuits and not enough exercise – without regard for the structures that influence the choices available to begin with.Yes, no-one ever makes bad choices in CiF-land. It's always other people...
Aside from disproportionate ridicule and shame (which have been shown to negatively affect mental health among obese children and adults), society's misunderstanding of the causes of obesity has substantiated calls to directly tax obese people, or to charge them differentially for product usage – as a recently publicised Ryanair scheme proposes to tax obese passengers.OK, Abdulrahman is just another rent-seeker looking to score a fat (heh!) salary doing 'research' into the sociological factors of obesity for some quango.
If obesity can be so heavily influenced by factors outside the individual's control and, more importantly, by markers of poverty, than these calls represent a concealed form of discrimination against the poor.
But there are scarier fish out there in the waters of CiF, and one swims into view, attracted by the scent of
CaptCrash comments at 9:47AM:
MsRobinson,There you have it. There are people out there who believe that it's their role in life to 'improve the lot of the common people'.
I appreciate that some are happy and slim and intelligent, but some on poor incomes are unhappy, munching away on crisps, and far from well educated or self interested in their health.
This might not be the case if
a) they were given the right info and
b) had to pay more for the sh*t.
but further more there needs to be a "happyness" streak through society.
If you are poor, the chances are you will ever achive much more than creaping up the greasy pole of societal status, indeed high rents, lack of decent social housing, and decent promoted community facilities, means that many peoples lives become nothing more than a miserable drudge with no hope of further achievement.
Indeed such a mental attitude is contagious in families, resulting in drug and alcohol abuse, long term unemployment, and a general feeling of uselessness.
But it's the rest of us who refuse to improve the lot of common people due to "cost" or "profit", and fail to give them the opportunity and worth they deserve, (as we offshore any prospects that used to have in manufacturing).
Meanwhile the intelligensia's short termism, results in the additional health burdens on the NHS.
Sod the fatties, say I; let's hunt down these people instead. They are going to cost us far, far more in the long run.