Is There a Link Between Poverty and Obesity?
A hundred years ago, if you saw a poor person, they were skinny. These days if you see someone that is poor chances are they're overweight and in many cases the more overweight the person is, the poorer they are as well.
I believe there are several different reasons for this. One is that in a lot of cases, prepackaged, processed, fatty foods are a lot cheaper than healthier foods. Next time you're at the grocery store, compare the prices of fruits and vegetables to the frozen pizza and pasta meals. If you had limited income, which one would you rather buy?
Also, most poor people do work, they just have really horrible jobs. If you don't have any vocational training or a college degree, then you're considered an unskilled worker. Unfortunately, unskilled workers are a dime a dozen. Most poor people have jobs where they work anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. By the end of a long work day like that, you're not going to take time to cook a healthy meal and you're certainly not going to exercise. People that work that much are often sleep deprived as well and a lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain. High levels of stress have also been linked to higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that causes weight gain, especially in the abdomen. If all you did was work and still barely made enough money to get by, wouldn't you be stressed out?
Depression can also cause weight gain in some individuals. If you were very poor and all you could manage to do was work your life away, you'd probably be pretty depressed. Also, the problem isn't limited to the fact that poor people work so much and don't make much money. When you're an unskilled worker that means you are expendable. Most employers and supervisors don't care if they treat these employees like dirt because if they get upset and quit, there will be another poor sap there to replace them the next day. Therefore, many people are forced or harassed into working overtime or staying even later than they normally need to. Many employees are also treated like dirt if they get sick and have to call off.
But if you find yourself in this situation does this mean it's okay to let yourself gain weight or stay overweight? No, of course not. If you are one of the poor people I'm talking about you can still be healthy, it just takes more effort and planning. One great idea is to start making healthy meals using a slow cooker. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook while you're busy doing something else. Many slow cookers even have programmable settings so you can tell it to turn off after so many hours.
If you have a desk job you can probably manage to exercise while at work. Even just a little exercise is better than nothing. Try taking a walk during your break or lifting some small weights.
There is a good chance that you're eating more than you need. It's probably not your fault. All the commercials you see these days lead us to believe we need much more food than we really do. And when you order something at a restaurant, chances are it isn't one serving. It's probably enough for two or three people. So check out this article about how to determine your calorie needs and learn how many calories you really need to eat every day.