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Old 09-11-2008, 04:47 PM   #21
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I absolutely believe that many people with either low or fixed income get heavy because crap food is cheaper. Allow me to share one story.

When we visited Orlando in 2005 I went to purchase breakfast for the 4 of us. Buying yogurt, fresh fruit and cereal as we are accustomed to having cost me somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20+. I could have bought bought HUGE plates of eggs, hashbrowns and either bacon or sausage and toast for $2.99/plate. ONE of those plates would have fed at least 2 of us, maybe 3. Now admittedly that is in a circumstance of vacation and having to take what is available, but the difference is rather staggering.

I also believe that many poor folks don't understand what good food choices are. I'm generalizing of course, but if you can buy a meal for under $5 at a fast food joint you are likely going to do that rather than buy the ingredients for meals. I don't think it is so much laziness as it is lack of education.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:47 PM   #22
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A lot of the cheaper foods are starchy things, and poor people have to make meat go as far as they can, so it's often mixed with pasta or rice. But it's quite possible to feed your family healthy balanced meals on a tight budget. Canned and plain frozen vegetables are pretty cheap at a box store, and studies have proven they have just as much nutrition as the fresh produce.

I, also, have stood in line behind people using food stamps, and seen carts filled with chips, gooey sweets, sodas, etc. I think part of it is lack of education, and wish that the government provided some training to go with the food stamps.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
On another forum I belong to, there is a bit of disagreement....

So what do you think?

Poorer people (in the US) are overweight because the cheaper foods they can afford are all unhealthy?

I strongly disagree, but am surprised that there are a fair number who agree....


(gosh I hope this isn't too polarizing of a subject.)
I disagree that they're overweight because of cheaper foods they consume. They are actually getting the cheaper stuff (as in quality). I see lots of people's carts at the grocery store with too much junk food and honestly, they are what they eat. Fast food may sound cheap too but it's not that cheap anymore. I think anyone could be better of with a $5 salad with chicken than a combo meal with fries, greasy burger or fried, breaded chicken sandwich and soda. It's yummy once in a while and I don't see a problem with treating oneself on ocassion. A lot of it is ignorance too.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:40 PM   #24
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I, also, have stood in line behind people using food stamps, and seen carts filled with chips, gooey sweets, sodas, etc. I think part of it is lack of education, and wish that the government provided some training to go with the food stamps.
They do, it is called the EFNEP program, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. I used to work for it. I worked in the homes of low income families teaching them grocery shopping skills, gardening, canning, menu planning and meal preparation. Pres. Reagan cut the funding, congress authorized it but Reagan cut it out, of rural areas. It still exists in cities. It is a very good program. From what I learned from that experience, the problem is lack of education, not laziness. These people do not have a clue, don't know where to look for a solution, are barely aware of the problem.

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/food/efnep/about.html
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #25
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food stamps don't bear on food choices. i know cause i get them. i'm also on social security. does that make me lazy, uneducated, or obese...
i've so much to spend on food they actually CUT my food stamps cause i didn't use my card fer 3 months, then gave me near $700 re-payment!!
i'm well educated, went to culinary school & plan to return in 2 months, & my kitchens full of healthy foods & impulse items like mussels & crab, steaks & pasta, that likely won't tack too much onto me. i only weight 140 pounds on a heavy day, & i'm taller than many other gals.
so, when'd they make being me into being lazy, obese, & undereducated...
& moreover, food stamps don't mean you're poor.... i spend $$$ like other people.
& so, i like pop (although usually caffiene-free, diet pop) & buy an occasional jar of premade sauce.
would you seriously judge someone had you not seen their food stamp card...
& sorry, i'm ranting now, 'cept weho gives 2 dagnabbits if someone IS obese, huh. obese people i know 'er great people!
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #26
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hot dogs are less expensive than chicken, cookies cheaper than fruit, soda than milk or juice.

Some of this country's poor are elderly on a fixed income. They may not be likely to buy rice, potatoes, meats in bulk when on sale to plan a weeks/months menu.

I know plenty of well to do folks that seem to have grown quite large on their healthy foods.
Hotdogs are cheaper than chicken? Not price per pound. A regular pack of hotdogs at my store is about $5-6, a whole frier choicken is like $3-4 with ALOT more meat. Don't forget to add in the buns to the hotdog prices either.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:17 PM   #27
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Rich or poor it all depends on what you ate when you were young, next is a basic knowledge about nutrition whether you learn it from your parents or school next is liking to eat healthy foods if you didn't eat them as kid you might not like them when you are older next after that you must know how to cook these foods and make them taste good a lot of people do not and finally you need to know how to buy in bulk and on sale if you are on a budget or food stamps.
I had a friend that was on food stamps and when she got them she would blow it on steak, avocados, strawberries etc and have nothing at all at the end of the month. I taught her you can have a little of the expensive stuff for a treat but the rest you must buy on sale like family size cut up chicken and other meats that you can separate and freeze, canned vegetables, soups, beans, mac and cheese etc. I showed her how to take a frozen turkey thigh/leg and make a great stew with canned tomatoes,potatoes, onions etc. She didn't really know how to cook so that meant she also did not know how to shop for real food and good bargains. I also tried to teach her not to blow it all at once so she can go and buy a fresh head of lettuce a tomato etc all through the month.
Honestly I doubt much sank in her little brain as she would get pregnant 3 times with the father no where in sight after. Don't know what happened to her since but I really hope she is OK. Looking back I think she was severely depressed which made her some what incapable to help her self.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:47 PM   #28
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luvs, I believe you have misread folks comments. Give it another look. Folks aren't saying all those who use food stamps are eating poorly, rather they are offering their observations.

I'm glad to see that many folks agree that education is more to blame than anything else.

You have to consider how filling meals are too. Most people will head for a higher carb content meal to feel satisfied more quickly. And in fast food places that means fries, not a salad.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:51 PM   #29
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food stamps don't bear on food choices. i know cause i get them. i'm also on social security. does that make me lazy, uneducated, or obese...
No, luvs, it doesn't. Generalizations don't apply to every individual, but that doesn't make them false, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs View Post
i've so much to spend on food they actually CUT my food stamps cause i didn't use my card fer 3 months, then gave me near $700 re-payment!!
i'm well educated, went to culinary school & plan to return in 2 months, & my kitchens full of healthy foods & impulse items like mussels & crab, steaks & pasta, that likely won't tack too much onto me. i only weight 140 pounds on a heavy day, & i'm taller than many other gals.
The original question was, are poorer people overweight because the cheaper foods they can buy are unhealthy? Obviously, if you have a culinary-school education, you have a lot more knowledge about food preparation to draw from than the average person on food stamps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs View Post
so, when'd they make being me into being lazy, obese, & undereducated...
& moreover, food stamps don't mean you're poor.... i spend $$$ like other people.
Being poor doesn't mean someone has no money at all - just that they don't make enough to live on without government help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs View Post
& so, i like pop (although usually caffiene-free, diet pop) & buy an occasional jar of premade sauce.
would you seriously judge someone had you not seen their food stamp card...
& sorry, i'm ranting now, 'cept weho gives 2 dagnabbits if someone IS obese, huh. obese people i know 'er great people!
It's not a question of whether or not obese people are good people or not. It's a matter of health. Being obese puts people at high risk for a lot of very difficult, painful, expensive health problems, including heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. And more and more people in the U.S. are too overweight. I do believe that the relatively low cost, and low energy output needed, of buying fast food or prepared grocery-store foods has a lot to do with the obesity problem, as well as portion sizes having grown out of control.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:57 PM   #30
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I have not read through the whole thread so forgive me if I am repeating anything.

I think poor people can afford to buy healthy food if they chose to. Sure lots of junk is cheap, but plenty of good healthy food is cheap too. Rice, beans, lentils, flour, grains, etc. These are all things that cost very little. Supplement that is less expensive cuts of meat (and you do not need a lot). In climates where it is possible some people can grow their own veggies. You can make your own bread.

Sure soda might be cheaper than milk, but water is cheaper than soda so there is not reason you HAVE to buy soda if you want to save money.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:02 PM   #31
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They do, it is called the EFNEP program, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. I used to work for it. I worked in the homes of low income families teaching them grocery shopping skills, gardening, canning, menu planning and meal preparation. Pres. Reagan cut the funding, congress authorized it but Reagan cut it out, of rural areas. It still exists in cities. It is a very good program. From what I learned from that experience, the problem is lack of education, not laziness. These people do not have a clue, don't know where to look for a solution, are barely aware of the problem.

About EFNEP
Beth, you are mostly right, but we do have some 4th generation people here who laugh at the rest of us for going to work. Sometimes laziness IS a factor. We are what we are.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:54 PM   #32
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I blame the trends of our culture in general for most people's poor standards of living and eating.

I eat 21 meals a week, usually some snacks in between those meals. I shop at Whole Foods Market every Sunday and buy 21 meals worth of food and some snack type stuff, and have yet to spend more than $30 on any given Sunday. Of course, that's just for me and not a family of people, but I do believe with a little time and research, any low-income family can be healthily fed.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:57 PM   #33
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I have read every post in this thread. I must say, that in my opinion, every post has valid points. My take from this, including my own post, is that there are good, healthy foods that are inexpensive. And there are a host of bad foods that are inexpensive also. Likewise, there are good and bad foods that are expensive. I believe that we all can agree that there are a host of factors that create obesity, including, but by no means limited to, genetics, eating what we grew up with (cultural infuences), lack of education concerning nutrition, &/or cooking skills, time constraints, desire to do work, laziness, and don't forget things like emotional cues, the desire to treat oneself, or eat everything on the plate at that restaurant that serves overly large portions (I paid for it and by golly I'm gonna eat it!), availablilty of wholesome foods, etc.

The original question was, does the cost of quality food create obesity in poor people. I would say that it contributes, but qualify that with the observation and knowledge that all good foods are not expensive. But to utilize that good and inexpensive food requires effort, education, and time, not to mention desire to improve. There are those, who if given the education, time, and availability, would improve their eating habits. There are those who won't. In all societies, there are a host of people of every disposition. And often enough, we are our own worst enemies. I used to laugh at the idea of eating all whole grains, and staying away from highly processed and starchy foods, with little nutritional value. Did I do it because I was lazy? No. I wasn't used to eating a healthier diet. Though the diet I lived on while growing up was fairly sound, with lots almost exclusively home cooked meals, I saw nothing wrong with fast food, junk food in moderation (not as moderate as now), and eating as much as I could eat. I was skinny, full of energy, couldn't gain a pound to save my life, and in exceptionally good shape. I was also uneducated about good nutrition and was just learning how to cook.

I would never have given my family bad food intentionally. I loved them far too much. Over the past thirty years, I have grown heavier, and developed diabetes when I hit forty years of age. I guess that's when my nutritional education really started. Before then, I didn't think I needed to know more about food other than how to make it taste great. I know how to make the most deliscious, unhealthy food you can imagine. And once in a great while, I'll still make an ultra-rich desert, or eat a fatty chunk of grilled steak. But those times are the exception now, rather than the rule.

There are no pat answers. There are too many reasons that people gain weight, including medical conditions. Arguing about such a subject is foolishness. After all, the "experts" have been arguing about nutriton as long as I've been alive, and longer. And they still don't have all of the answers.

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Old 09-11-2008, 08:59 PM   #34
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I blame the trends of our culture in general for most people's poor standards of living and eating.

I eat 21 meals a week, usually some snacks in between those meals. I shop at Whole Foods Market every Sunday and buy 21 meals worth of food and some snack type stuff, and have yet to spend more than $30 on any given Sunday. Of course, that's just for me and not a family of people, but I do believe with a little time and research, any low-income family can be healthily fed.
You buy 21 meals worth of food at Whole Foods for under $30? Can you share what it is you buy? I find Whole foods to be very expensive. I would love to know how you can get so much for so little there.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:12 PM   #35
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Well, make no mistake about it, the meals I eat aren't exactly big, but they are enough to to give my body exactly what it needs to operate. So I'll buy a bag of linguine with a jar of whatever sauce I'm in the mood for and that's enough for 7 dinners for me. One of their big containers of granola lasts me more than a week, and that usually serves me for breakfast, and I'll take that with some rice milk. Throw in a couple of cans of soup and some cold cuts, and that rounds out my 21 meals. The snacks are usually just some of the dried fruits they have.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:36 PM   #36
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while your diet may work for you. i would find it very boring. and i question if that is a nutrient rich menu. it can be done without spending a fortune. i still believe it is harder to do inexpensive meals for one person than a family.frankly i don't want to eat the same thing five days in a row. also cooking is a hobby of mine. part of that is finding cheaper, healthy ways for me to eat. could i cut something? you bet. i do spend more than i need to but want a really special meal once in awhile. so i cook it, instead of eating out to get it. everyone has a different take on this question. i do think we need home eco. in high schools. amazing to me that my grandkids have no idea what a balanced diet is. one grandson lives on junk food, literaly. he is over weight and does not have much energy. i had home ec. in high school so at least knew where to begin when i began to cook for a family. babe
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:44 PM   #37
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I have been fat since I was a young child, when in six grade I checked in at 20# and my mother and dad all ways had a garden and she canned and froze till the pantry was ready to burst and the freezer was full of health food. I do not buy any fast food or ready to eat food. I was trained as a classical cook and every thing comes from scratch and I still do. As a child we ate what ever come off the critter from snout to tail litterly. My genitic make up come from a long line of fat folks. To make my point I cook from scratch every day watch my carbs and still weigh 300# and I eat only one meal a day. Go Figure
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:52 PM   #38
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while your diet may work for you. i would find it very boring.
Boring as it may be, the point is that one can eat healthily without putting a major dent in their wallet.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:11 PM   #39
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I would say eating healthy on a budget can be tricky but its not impossible. You have to be smart with your shopping and think and plan ahead. When I first changed my eating habbits and went out the first time to buy all fresh fruits, veggies, healthy snacks,and leaner cuts of meat, my jaw dropped at the total price for barely a weeks worth of food! But as time went on I learned some tricks on keeping my eyes open for deals, who has what with better prices and substituting i.e. buying frozen fruits for smoothies instead of fresh...just as healthy but MUCH cheaper and it wont go bad if I don't make it right away! So like I said ,bottom line, you need to be smart about it and not be afraid to do a little work to look around and plan.

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:37 PM   #40
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Poor People Can't Afford Healthy Food? That's just silly. I know a lot of fat, unhealthy rich people!
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