One of the many factors swirling around obesity is the economics factor. If poorer people are more obese due to limited food choices, then why do we obesity increasing in other countries of poor means?
A couple of articles today discuss the economic causes of obesity and they really sound good. Of course, eating too much causes obesity, but why the stage is set for over eating will be debated forever. These two articles, one in The Desert Sun and the other in Slate, look at the economic conditions our society finds itself in.
The Desert Sun article is actually an op-ed piece. In it they say:
Consumption is limited only by the ability to pay. The cheaper (and thus more plentiful) a commodity, the more likely it will be over-consumed as with the “all your can eat” buffet vs. the a la carte menu.
The author is exactly right. Think about the deal that Subway is running right now. $5 for a 12 inch sub, but if you only want a 6 inch sub you actually end up paying more. Does that make sense?
The Slate article looks at the research of Dr. Barry Popkin who studied obesity extensively. He believes that soda plays an evil role in obesity. With hard economic times people will be forced to drink more water.
Dr. Popkin is probably digging in the right place. Check out the very cool obesity graph from his site:
Look at the empty calories people are drinking. Do you think people would choose to save their money instead of spending it on HFC filled drinks? Yep, I think so, too.