The last thing you’d expect to hear is that poor people are now suffering from obesity, a disease synonymous to overeating. But what most people tend to forget is that what you eat is more responsible for obesity than how much you eat.
To live a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and a balanced diet is necessary, but with food products that are considered healthy being as expensive as it is now, the poor can only afford food that are unhealthy but filling.
According to the World Health Organization, childhood obesity cases has increased from 360,000 in 1975 to 1.13 million just last year. While the numbers may be a cause for concern, it actually reveals a gradual decline in the number of cases when proportioned to the population differences of both years.
However, the decrease of obese children are only seen on the middle and upper class families, while the lower classes have had a surprising increase in childhood obesity rates.
Experts agree that the cause of such a phenomenon is most likely due the expensive nature of healthy foods.
Professor Majid Ezzati, lead author of Imeprial College London says: “Very few policies attempt to make healthy foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables affordable to poor families.”
He goes on to say that due to the healthy options becoming unaffordable, the poor have no choice but to eat cheap but unhealthy foods, leading to the increase of obesity rates.
As Dr. Harry Rutter, from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine adds: “Obesity starts in a country as a disease of the rich. Then it becomes a disease across all of society. It then becomes a disease of the poor.”
According to a separate analysis, the amount of money spent on junk food advertisements totaled £143 million, completely eclipsing the government’s budget for its flagship healthy eating drive, Change4Life campaign, which totaled a measly £5.2 million.