I’m confused. Which is it?

Barring hormones that have gone all wacky freelance, the only way I know to achieve a state of obesity is to eat too much. I’ve been poor, and when I was poor obesity was the least of my troubles. Whatever its other downsides, poverty is a great weight-loss program.

Here I’m told that poverty has become so pervasive that “food hardship” (A new term I only encountered this morning) is now a national problem. No doubt soon our masters will unveil their five-year plan to eliminate such suffering.

For households with children the numbers were significantly worse. According to the survey, “… nearly one in four such households suffered food hardship in 2009.” Mississippi, the state with the highest incidence of food hardships report, saw their numbers increase when children under the age of 18 were factored into the statistics. Mississippi households without children held a hunger rating of 22.5 percent while Mississippi households with children held a hunger rating of 33.8 percent.

And yet! We’re also supposedly battling Madame Obama’s national obesity crisis!

Obesity continues to plague the U.S., with nine states now reporting that more than 30% of their population is obese. ”In 2007, only three states reported an increased prevalence of obesity above 30 percent — Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi,” said Dr. William Dietz, director of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity at the CDC. “Now, there are nine states that exceed [that mark]: Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.” Furthermore, no U.S. States have managed to lower obesity rates to 15 percent.

We’re told this, too, is because of poverty. “Poor food choices,” don’t ya know.

When I was poor I thought a pretty good day was when I had food, let alone food choices.

So which is it? Hunger or obesity? I just don’t see how you can have it both ways. But then, I’m not a politician.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to I’m confused. Which is it?

  1. Matt says:

    It could be both because neither is well defined. To some, Hunger is only two meals a day or one meal a day. To others Hunger means not knowing if there will be a meal that week. Same with obesity. We know it when we see it, but the causes are almost always to many calories for the activity level of the obese one. Problem becomes when the government keeps redefining OBESE. Obese can simply mean you have money for excess food. Hunger could mean you have plenty of money, but spend it on things other than food.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, the cheapest food is the least healthy and nutritious. With little money, the focus is on things like mac & cheese, bread and pasta. High carb/sodium/calorie stuff will fill you up in more ways than one.

  3. suek says:

    That ignores the fact that carbs are only 4 calories per gram. Protein is 4.4, and fats are 9 calories per gram. So blaming it on high carbs isn’t valid. Fats could be to blame, but fats, whether from either meats or vegetables are expensive.

    Personally, I place the blame elsewhere. I look at activity levels instead. Weight gain is due to either too much in or too little out. Children are pretty much programmed to have large appetites to accommodate their anticipated growth and activity level. When they spend all their time in front of a TV or computer, their activity level doesn’t expend the calories their appetites anticipate. Kids don’t go out and play anymore, and we’re not supposed to put them to work as they used to. Hence, they sit around and get fat.

    Two other notes. I’ve noticed with my children and grandchildren that if they take a car trip, they always come with a food and drink supply. At church (I’m RC – Sunday services are 1 hour)children are given snacks to keep them quiet. In other words, kids whine and get food. They never hear the word “no”. There’s a “thing” about the child always having food available. I don’t really understand it.

    Second, one tablespoon of fat in excess of your energy output per day will add 10 lbs per year. That’s 100 lbs in 10 years. One tablespoon of fat is about one pat of butter. That’s not much. And by the way, that means about 2 Tbsps of carbohydrates. Less than a quarter cup too much each day.

  4. I respectfully disagree with anonymous, cheap food does not amount to crap, healthy food requires planning and some work but it does NOT have to be expensive or packed full of sodium.

    O.K. joel your word verification this time is sickonu….

  5. Joel says:

    So what you’re saying is that my carb-loaded homemade bread diet won’t kill me, and I shouldn’t have set my word verification to “evil?”

  6. suek says:

    Well…first you have to define “healthy”…!!

    Technically, it would mean that any diet that meets all of your nutritional needs without exceeding those requirements would be correct. Of course, each individual’s needs are slightly different – which is what complicates the matter.

    My Animal Nutrition professor in college (long long ago) said that all you need for complete nutrition is 1 quart of whole milk, 1 complete vitamin pill and 1 shot of whiskey. Milk provides the minerals, vitamins the obvious, and the whiskey provides the balance of calories for the average male. (Alcohol is 7 calories per gram) Don’t know how long you would want to be on that one – seems to me a certain amount of fiber might come into the picture.

    Now if you want to substitute various foodstuffs for any/all of those requirements, you need to know a whole lot more than I do about which stuff has what stuff in it. Fortunately, we don’t need to know it all before we just eat – most of us do pretty well in satisfying all of our needs. Otherwise, we’d be dead before we figured it all out!

  7. I’ve often said that the US is just one big company town – I think I’m gonna’ have to start suggesting that the US is just one big feedlot!

    Act like a fodder unit – expect to get treated like one…

  8. Weetabix says:

    The first problem is listening to politicians whose lips are moving…

    I live in a poor neighborhood. We have several small stores accessible to people without cars and with food stamps.

    The majority of foods I see purchased with food stamps are crap: snack cakes, chips, sodas, canned whipped cream. I seldom see staples purchased with food stamps.

    What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Government aid to the “poor” with no strings attached is the problem.

    Maybe the problem caused by government programs can be fixed by more government programs. Maybe you can fight fire with gasoline, too.

    WV: salat – better for you than twinkies.

  9. Feel free to keep your Word Verification on Evil, no offense but it has some how become an integral part of the ambiance. :O)

To the stake with the heretic!