Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Price For High Prices III: Obesity

Some sad irony here:
Rising Food Prices Are Likely To Worsen US Obesity Rate
"... she lives on public assistance and eats junk food because it's cheap and more readily available in her Philadelphia neighborhood than carrots and apples."

"They rely on corner stores and convenience marts for groceries. ... These are great places to buy chips and soda, not so good for asparagus."
Even if you can find them, transporting a sack of potatoes or apples home is also a challenge.
"Besides, said Gaines, a mother of three, 'I don't have the money for Bally's fitness clubs. And I can't run here. They shoot you.'"
Having worked in Philadelphia for years, I can attest to much in this article. Guns and drugs are everywhere. Walk down a little-used street or use a public restroom at your own risk. Public transportation is not a safe haven. "Philadelphia [had] the highest homicide rate of any big city in the country last year, with 406 killings -- more per capita than even New York City, which has six times the population." You have your hands full, Mr. Nutter.

Back to the article ... The comments under it reveal, at least to me, that obesity and its causes are a polarizing topic. What is it about America that makes people who live here the heaviest in the developed world?

Click for larger. The US is that last blip to the right.
  • Photo of Philadelphia's Mayor Michael Nutter, who took office 4 months ago, via the New York Times, New Philadelphia Mayor’s Top Task: Fight Crime.
  • Graph of BMIs around the world (the 30 OECD countries) via Wikipedia. The graph shows the percentage of the total population of a country (aged 15 and above) with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Data made available in years 1996 to 2003.

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