Archive for Sunday, May 30, 2010

Research finds the poor are more obese

May 30, 2010

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— The smaller the paycheck, the bigger the belly, say many researchers who study poverty and obesity.

It might seem like a paradox, but not having enough money for food doesn’t mean the poor are skinny. The opposite appears to be true: The lower-income are more likely to be heavy than the well-to-do.

“Obesity is an economic issue,” said Cyndi Walter, manager for the California Department of Public Health obesity-prevention program, Project LEAN. Eating well is beyond the reach of many California residents, she said.

Health experts say there is no shortage of reasons why poverty is a predictor for obesity — even stress and hopelessness could be factors. Overall, it comes down to food options: Poverty not only limits choices, but also can discourage healthy decisions that have little to do with money, they say.

For starters, the low-income tend to live in neighborhoods that are flush with fast-food restaurants and convenience stores that sell mostly junk foods, the experts say. Supermarkets are few — and the fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats they carry are more expensive than hamburgers, french fries and sodas.

The low-income “are buying what’s available to them and affordable to them,” said Genoveva Islas-Hooker, regional program coordinator for the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program.

People still are responsible for making the healthiest food choices possible, she said. But there, too, poverty’s powers are hard to ignore.

Habits start young

Food habits begin in childhood, Islas-Hooker said. “You grow up in a household where there is limited economic means and your caregiver is purchasing food on what they can afford,” she said. “You become ingrained in that type of diet and that type of pattern.”

Carmen Solorvano, 30, of southeast Fresno, Calif., grew up in a big family. There wasn’t a lot of money for fresh fruits and vegetables and lean cuts of meat. Meals were mostly spaghetti, tacos, rice, beans, potatoes — starchy foods.

Solorvano cooks those same foods today. “I’m used to cooking and eating the way I was raised, when I was small,” she said.

She would like to fix healthier meals. She is 100 pounds overweight and her doctor has warned her she needs to lose weight. But money for healthy foods and time to prepare them are hard to come by.

Solorvano is a part-time food-service assistant. Her husband works part time at odd jobs. The family’s combined income is about $900 a month, and they receive food stamps. Solorvano attends classes at Fresno City College in child development. She wants to become an assistant Head Start teacher. By the time she rushes home from picking her children up from school, she has to leave for class.

Meals have to be quick — and cheap, she said.

Fatty, salty and sweet

Foods high in fat and carbohydrates and those full of sugar are cheap, energy-dense, nutrient poor — and filling, said Edie Jessup, a program development specialist who works with Islas-Hooker at the obesity-prevention project.

Giving children a package of Top Ramen is an inexpensive, quick meal, Jessup said. “And because it’s more carbohydrates, it makes your child feel like they’ve had more,” she said.

Fats and sugars make foods taste good, too. “We really like fat, salty and sweet,” Jessup said.

Some even suspect the foods are addictive.

A number of studies are looking at the physical response to such foods, according to the California Department of Public Health. The department says introducing fats and sugars to children early isn’t recommended by pediatricians. They suggest giving infants pureed vegetables before pureed fruits so they can develop a taste for the vegetables and not reject them in favor of the sweeter fruit tastes, the department says.

Researchers who study the relationship between income and poverty speculate that some of the food choices made by the poor are not strictly cost-driven.

When you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, making a healthy food choice “is just not the highest priority in life,” said Paul Leigh, an expert on health and labor economics and a professor at the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at the University of California at Davis.

Leigh is senior author of a new study that found minimum-wage workers are more likely to be obese than people who earn higher wages.

People who live on minimum wages have fewer options than higher-wage earners, Leigh said.

“There is a direct causal relationship between the wages low-income people receive and their risk of obesity,” he said.

But there also is an indirect emotional reaction. Living in poverty also involves stress, Leigh said. “With a certain amount of stress and unhappiness, you want to have some quick reward,” he said. A sugary soda, for example, can provide a cheap, quick emotional lift.

The fast-food solution

By the same token, fast-food restaurants provide an outlet for low-income families: The food is cheap, it tastes good, and there is free entertainment for the children.

“The kids love it,” Leigh said.

People with higher incomes can be selective about restaurants, he said.

Solorvano, the southeast Fresno mother, considers it a treat to take her children — ages 14, 8 and 6 — to McDonald’s. The children look forward to it, she said. “They see other people and they go to McDonald’s,” she said. “They want to fit in.”

Islas-Hooker understands the draw to fast food. The restaurants are hard to ignore when they’re on every corner, a grocery store is several miles away and children are hungry.

And the Valley’s immigrant population sees images on television of happy people eating hamburgers and fries and drinking sodas, she said. “There’s the psychology of the new immigrants wanting to fit in, and part of how they fit in to the new American society is adopting the diet.”

In some cases, eating out or serving processed foods may be the only option for a family. The stove in the apartment may not work, they don’t have pots and pans to use. They don’t know how to cook.

“Half of the story is about people making smarter decisions,” Islas-Hooker said. “But make sure healthy options are there.”

The obesity epidemic among the poor has very little to do with individual motivation or even genetics or metabolism, said Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington. He has specialized in the relationship between poverty and obesity for the past decade.

“Obesity is an expression of limited resources,” he said. “Solutions really lie in education, instruction, access to healthy foods and being able to afford healthy foods.”

Comments

Tom Shewmon 5 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ivalueamerica 5 years ago

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AnnaUndercover 5 years ago

I see a lot of examples of what this article asserts in my professional life.

Exotic dancer info ahead in this comment! :) Skip if it's not your thing.

When I worked at the Outhouse, I pulled almost every man's shirt halfway up to whip them when they tipped me on stage. Many of them had stretch marks and bellies bigger than 'healthy.'

I felt bad for them.

beatrice 5 years ago

Humiliating customers by exposing their flabby man flesh was perhaps against the house "rules," and maybe this explains why you were fired.

AnnaUndercover 5 years ago

No. Pulling up someone's shirt and whipping them is pretty par for the course at the Outhouse, right now.

We can be nice, too, but customers love Outhouse dancers both ways. :)

AnnaUndercover 5 years ago

You've never given me a reason to think you're weird, before. :) I'm afraid I don't follow.

AnnaUndercover 5 years ago

Anyway, good night. :)

Please kindly don't take over this thread with comments that aren't relevant to obesity.

canyon_wren 5 years ago

Some of this is true, but education and motivation are as much responsible for the current state of affairs (not to mention downright laziness). I hate it when articles imply that good food is only available to the rich. What hogwash! What we need is more basic cooking classes--many young people today (rich or poor) have not grown up in homes where people bothered to cook from scratch, which is more healthful and cheaper in the long run. But the trend to blame everything on income level is just too tempting and poltiically correct.

whats_going_on 5 years ago

You're right...there are a LOT of factors involved in obesity...more than anyone can imagine. I bet most of our daily activities can, in some way, be linked to it. Low income does have a direct effect on it, though, theres no denying it. For reasons outlined in the story and others. For instance, I think laziness and motivation, while being contributing factors for everyone, are found more often in not in low income families. Also, for those who are ALREADY unhealthy, especially kids, it is harder for them to get out of that "rut" of laziness and obesity, especially when they might not have the resources to exercise; even moreso if they are depressed, have low self esteem, and don't have good role models.

lctchr1 5 years ago

Our lack to quality produce and meat is a true tragedy for our nation. It is very expensive to "eat healthy". This is a problem for our whole nation, not just the poverty-stricken. Obesity leads to diabetes and other health problems that all taxpayers will have to deal with. We should be asking our government to provide tax breaks to small, local farmers rather than the mega beef processors and corn growers that do nothing but feed the beef lots that are poisoning our environment and bodies.

whats_going_on 5 years ago

that is true. People do decide that. The story isn't blaming obesity on low income...it is saying there is an undeniable LINK, and then outlines the reasons.

EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT BEING DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBLICAN.

And the story clearly states that obesity stems from habits as a child. If the parents don't care about their kids being healthy, the kids don't really have much of a choice. They can't drive themselves to the grocery store and buy produce and healthier foods. When they grow up, yes, they have a choice, but habits die hard, and chances are they are going to turn out a lot like their parents.

50YearResident 5 years ago

Fat parents have fat kids. The reason, the mother makes the kids clean up their plates after putting twice the food needed to maintain a youngster for several days just because they themselves eat that much in one meal.

staff04 5 years ago

Tom, you exhibit an astonishing lack of social awareness with your comments on this story.

grammaddy 5 years ago

Hardly. Groceries are expensive. I'm trying t feed a household of 9 on about $800 a month. We try to eat fresh veggies and fruit as much as we can, (hell, I even put in a small garden)but it's not easy. Eating right just costs too much. Not saying it's someone else's fault, bur it's no easy job. And there is no sedentary nothin' around here, not with 5 kids under the age of ten. Keeping the place picked up is a work-out in itself.

devobrun 5 years ago

Buy a really crummy car, grammaddy. Drive to Aldi's. Buy Large bags of rice and beans. Buy whatever protein is on sale. Buy stuff that is dry and reconstitute it in large pots with lots of water.

$800 per month is $3 per person per day. That's tough. It can be done, but not with anything fancy.

Learn to like chili powder.

Go to Ballard, or other places for help.

Since you are never sedentary and you are eating on $3 a day, you cannot be obese. If you are, then you are not being honest about the money, or the workload.

grammaddy 5 years ago

I already shop at Aldi's for the major part of the groceries. And we cook almost everything from scratch, No 'helper" here. And yes, rice and beans are one of the staples in this house.

mom_of_three 5 years ago

Grammaddy was not blaming someone anyone else, but fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive. My family likes a fresh vegetable salad that I make, but it costs $8 to make. My kids eat grapes and apples as soon as I bring them home. Not sure how other people manage in times like this.
I was raised by a divorced mother who worked 12 hour shifts, and I remember fixing frozen pizza, and a can of corn. I took my lunch with applesauce and fresh veggies to eat.
Not to mention special dietary needs or allergies (like I had), which can really cause problems.

jaywalker 5 years ago

" Eating right just costs too much"

Sorry, but it sounds like living responsibly is too much of a bother, the cost of food ain't the problem. Who's the moron who had 5 kids and can't afford to feed them? Nine in a household on how much a month? 'Splains a lot of your comments in the past.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

This from a guy who seems to spend most of his time on the computer.

Cait McKnelly 5 years ago

And how do you know she isn't posting from the library or a friend's house, Tom? You have to be one of the cruelest, least socially conscious people I have ever ran into. The gospel of "personal responsibility" only goes so far. You've portrayed yourself that way to the point that I don't think you would hold out a stick to a drowning man (or woman). Even Ayn Rand admitted before she died that people used and abused her work in ways she never expected. She despised the Republican Party and wasn't too happy with the Libertarians either. She felt that people twisted her philosophy to justify selfishness. Believing in self determination does not justify cruelty. In fact the first use of the term "Liberterian" was used by a French anarchist Communist in 1857. (And yes, the concept of Communism was around long before Karl Marx. Like Rand, the Soviets twisted Marx's philosophy to mean something he didn't intend. A true "Marxist" wasn't tolerated by the Soviets.) If you truly believe in the concept of "personal responsibility" and "self determination" may I suggest you read some of the late Enlightenment philosophers? I think it will be a bit of an eye opener.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

I don't know about this.

What about the KU Athletic Director? What about Mangino? All over KU campus there seems to be a lot of big eaters.

How about if food advertisements were taken off TV? All that suggestive nonsense. Not likely we all know that.

Replace food advertisements with exercise advertisements.... also not likely anytime soon. In Lawrence Sears is probably the best place to shop for equipment OR the classifieds.

Maybe families could set up an exercise room in the home or garage as a point of emphasis saying exercise is good. Don’t focus on one family member. All of us need exercise. Go with a treadmill, a workout bench, a crossover elliptical trainer and bicycles.

OR simply make use of sidewalks. Power walk everywhere you go. Power walking or walking at a good pace daily can generate energy.

Or maybe USD 497 could find a way to schedule 5 minute walks between classes as a means to generate new energy and wake up the students? Designate a route around each school.

Sidewalks are a best resource. Too bad Lawrence will not find the money to fix up older side walks.

whats_going_on 5 years ago

Maybe families could set up an exercise room in the home or garage as a point of emphasis saying exercise is good. Don’t focus on one family member. All of us need exercise. Go with a treadmill, a workout bench, a crossover elliptical trainer and bicycles.

I've seen you say this a lot, Merrill, but do you know how expensive "home gyms" are? Sure you can find weights, exercise balls, and mats for cheap, but a treadmill is going to cost a pretty penny, and those items aren't going to do too much to rid of excess fat. We're talking about low income here...people don't have the money and room for that sort of thing.

beatrice 5 years ago

Just avoid the cookie aisle. Strange stuff happens in the cookie aisle.

devobrun 5 years ago

bea, 25 years ago, I would agree. Today's cookie selection is about 12 kinds of cookies (how many variations on chocolate chip cookies can there be). I am surprised by the diminishing selection in the cookie aisle.

I don't go there often, and when I do, I usually leave without.

Cait McKnelly 5 years ago

I miss Sunshine Bakery so much. I have mourned the loss of Lemon Coolers for years. They were the best cookie in the summer. A handful (they were the size of vanilla wafers) with a glass of ice tea was a bit of heaven.

mothernature 5 years ago

It is obvious when someone refers to low income families as “lazy” that that person is way out of touch with realty!!! America has some serious class issues…the food system is one very big one (literally)! It is hard to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget; I make sacrifices every day to provide organics and fresh foods for my family. Obesity is a symptom…what is the cause? Here is a hint…cheap food being produce by multi-billion dollar corporations...CEOs are getting rich and fat while the poor are getting trapped and fat. Calling a suffering demographic of people lazy is just an un-aware thing to say…WAKE UP PEOPLE!

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

Here is some perspective for the screamers.

This is a complex issue that has components of personal responsibility/ability as well as cultural and societal influences.

There are personal reasons. The poor are often not as motivated, not as intelligent, not as driven, and sometimes just plain lack an ability. You could distill these down to "lazy" if you wish.

On the societal side, the cheap food that is available is a contributor: -The price of meat has been so subsidized that the poor now consume more meat than the wealthy. -High fructose corn syrup and bad fats peddled with low cost and ruthless advertising. -The sedentary culture of movies, TVs, video games, and yes, blogging on computers.

It is no surprise that the volatile combination of personal motivations combined with aggressive pushing of cheap, unhealthy food (meat and HFCS) and a sedentary culture have resulted in an obesity epidemic among the poor.

devobrun 5 years ago

Hey nightmare, good post. I wonder how much is motivation driven by advertising relative to the other factors, but I think you nailed it.

Just remember, there are no...I mean no fat roofers. You can be a fat plumber. You can be a fat machine operator. You can be a fat painter.

You climb up and down a ladder 50 times a day and you quit, you die, or you loose weight. It seems nowadays that being 17 and Mexican helps to be a roofer, too.

Because it is work. I just roofed a shed out back of my house. Just 300 square feet and an 8/12 pitch. Little job. It is the last roof that this 58 year old man will ever shingle. I'll learn Spanish next time. Right now that seems easier.

mothernature 5 years ago

;) Thank you for mentioning subsidies! "Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has cost the American economy billions of dollars since 1980 and has indirectly cost Americans tens of billions of dollars in higher prices and higher taxes over that same period. At least 43 percent of ADM's annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer_Daniels_Midland

mr_right_wing 5 years ago

Isn't that interesting. We're probably one of the only countries that have this problem I don't see ANY suffering people in third-world countries struggling with that!

Besides the government perhaps, do you think Haiti even has even 1% obesity?

beatrice 5 years ago

Indeed, third-world countries don't have an abundance of fast food restaurants and markets that carry a lot of high-calorie, low-nutritional value processed foods like we do. I believe that is the point.

devobrun 5 years ago

Actually, bea, my son just got back from Ghana. He ate a lot of rice and beans while there. He took a bunch of Cliff bars with him because he knew that if he did get protein, it would be a stringy chicken.

Ghana is the jewel of sub-Saharan Africa. They eat rice and beans. They are poor. In America, we have plenty. It is up to us individually to choose what to eat. When we eat at Mc...................................... all the time we choose that lifestyle.

It is a free choice. It is wonderful.

It is the reason people come to America from other countries all the time. When they make good choices in their life they do well here. When they do not make good choices, they don't do well.

Freedom is great, doncha think, Bea?

your_worst_nightmare above nailed it by parsing lazy into decisions that yield poor results. Thus, you get poor. Wow, what a novel idea! Eat at Mc........ once a month or less. Enjoy every bite. Then go back to work. Or, buy weed, get the munchies, eat at Mc..............20 times a month and get obese. Duh.

jaywalker 5 years ago

BS. No one says 'cuz you're poor you have to eat non-stop off the dollar menu. We're the only country I know that has "obese paupers." We have the greatest abundance of food in the world and the widest selection. What chaps me about this particular article is that there was good money wasted on "research" for this. What'd they have to do? Sit in the parking lot of a Mickey D's for a week and count the grotesquely obese ordering super size out the window of a beater? For the love...

Linda Endicott 5 years ago

Oh, I know before I even start this that I'll get hammered by all you know-it-alls, the ones who have never been there, but think they know what it's like and what the problem is...but so be it...

We were dirt poor when I was a kid...my sister was overweight, and my step-father, but no one else in the family...sometimes genetics influences who will and won't have weight problems, you know...everyone is different...some people could eat chocolate cake all day and not gain an ounce...others seem to gain weight just by smelling food...

devobrun says "America has plenty"...Really? We didn't have plenty...there was many a night when I went to bed hungry, went through a day at school without lunch, went without things I needed (like pens, paper, shoes, clothes) because the money was needed for food and basic survival...and I can guarantee you that there are still people out there going hungry every day in this country...but cheer up...at least they probabloy aren't the obese ones...so maybe it would be more correct to say, "in Americda, some have plenty"...because all obviously do not...

We never went out to eat when I was a kid...couldn't afford it...the only time we bought fresh fruits and veggies was when my step-father got paid...it was splurging, you know, to buy things like fruits, veggies, and chicken...we would go out and fish and eat the fish we caught...rarely had beef or pork...if we did have beef, it was only a small roast or tongue, or brains (they used to sell those in the markets)...stuff that probably wasn't the best for you...

And don't talk about soda and kool-aid and stuff like that...we didn't get those, either...we didn't get free lunches at school in those days, so we went without...try studying and improving your lot in life that way...

We ate a lot of spaghetti, macaroni, other kinds of pasta; rice, beans, bread...all that starchy stuff that they tell you not to eat much of now...but it was cheap and it filled your belly and made sure your insides didn't gnaw into your backbone overnight...

We didnt' have a car, either, so we walked everywhere we went...and we went somewhere frequently...so why did my sister have a weight problem?

I don't know what you people think being poor is like, but it's obvious to me that few of you ever have been poor, and hungry...

beatrice 5 years ago

Devo, not arguing with free choice, nor advocating for anything like the closing of fast food restuarants or forcing markets to carry only fresh veggies. However, if easy choices of junk food and processed foods lead to obesity because of higher fat content and being tastier than a diet of rice and beans (yuk!), then the answer is in education. Not just for kids, but for their parents as well. Further, what are they serving in the schools in the poorer districts? Are schools making meals that are preparing children to become fast food junkies? As a nation, are we doing what we should for America's children and their dietary needs while they are at school? (Rhetorical -- I think we both know the answer to that one.)

devobrun 5 years ago

bea, you imply that the type of education is that of information.
Information is all over the place, bea. There is no way that kids don't get the message that fast food isn't to be eaten regularly.
Movies, news, advertising for alternatives abound. So do ads for Mc..... But the kids are confused by all the noise.


Teach them self-reliance and discipline, bea. Teach kids how to be individuals. Teach them that they are in charge of their lives and that advertising is merely a way of gathering information. Teach them to separate feelings from thoughts so that the urge to run down to the donut shop every morning followed by Mc..... for lunch is their choice. That urge is to be dealt with. Teach them to overcome feelings that lead to bad choices by using their brain.

They make choices and they are responsible, bea. This message is not driven home to the kids. It is the most important message that can be given to kids.

denak 5 years ago

Contrary to what a lot of people think, most poor people I have come in contact with who are obese have either 1) an underlying physical condition or 2) are what is considered the working poor.

I know quite a few visually impaired people and most of them are overweight or obese. The reason I think so many of them have this issue is that there are few gyms equipped for people who are visually impaired...or for the "handicapped" in general to use. Add in the problem of transportation or the lack of understanding/general knowledge on the part of the gym employees and you start to understand why. Not to mention that supermarkets aren't really set up to benefit people with disabilities. For example, supermarkets are set up in a way to encourage impulse buying. It isn't by coincidence that the more nutritious food is on the higher shelves and the junk food is on the lower shelf or that you have to go through the cookie aisle or to the back of the store to get milk. However, if you are in a wheelchair, your arm reach basically is to the middle shelf. It makes it difficult for someone who has limited ability to get the healthier options. Yes, one can ask for help but it is humiliating and demoralizing to always ask for help. Some stores do have delivery for people who are housebound or who have mobility issues. (I think Checkers does but not sure) but you are tied to that store and their prices which means that you might have to scrimp on nutrition if you can only afford x amount of dollars because you need your money for other things such as a new wheelchair, a cane, braille readers, medications and the myriad of other things that people with disabilities need.

Secondly, the working poor, usually are not lazy. It has been my experience that those who are considered the working poor are the most hard working people out there. Most of them work two jobs. And if you have a family on top of that or are trying to go to school, working out usually isn't very high on the list of priorities. And if you live in a a less that desireable neighborhood, going out at night or early morning to walk isn't usually in one's best interest. Not to mention that most gym memberships are not affordable.

Lastly, yes, people do have a personal responsiblity. However,the reasons why people are obese or overweight isn't as simplistic as saying "they are lazy." There are all kinds of reasons a person may be overweight and I think we need to look at all of these reasons in order to combat this problem because it is taking a toll on our health and our society.

Dena

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Denak, you are going to confuse conservatives like Tom. Working poor? Not to the conservatives. All poor people are lazy and don't work, and all disabled people should just go away and die, so they don't have to be bothered by them. Of course, who would wait on them in restaurants and stores. Who would build their houses and dry clean their clothes. No, all these underpaid peons are nothing but lazy to the "rich" conservative. And why should they be subjected to the man or woman with severe RA, weighing 300 pounds in an electric wheel chair. Why don't those people just go to a nursing home? If they would just get up and walk. And why should their tax dollars go to the vet on the street. He should have stayed in the army. They will honor the dead soldiers, but not the live ones. Why should their tax dollars go to help people get to work on buses that just get in their way when stopping for riders. And why should tax dollars go to talking street lights that help blind people get around. Sorry for the rant, but I grew up poor too, and my parents worked harder than any of these cold hearted conservatives who sit around on their computers all day.

jaywalker 5 years ago

" Not to the conservatives. All poor people are lazy and don't work, and all disabled people should just go away and die, so they don't have to be bothered by them"

Exceptionally ignorant statements, tomato. That kind of idiocy has a special term that seems to be thrown out ad nauseum around these parts..... what was that word again? Oh, yeah, "profiling." ALL conservatives think such, hmm? That just proves YOU don't 'think' at all. Well done.

independant1 5 years ago

poor = propensity for obesity forced to eat fast food by our socio-economic system rich = can afford gym and avoid fast food because they can eat in finer restaurants

me? = weigh about the same as I did in 1968. not athletic but love playing sports, ate more than my share of fast food, too hungry and tired to shop and cook after work. no exercise equipment in my house. was poor and worked minmum wage jobs, now middle class and splurge on food every chance I get. (sirloin steak/baked potato w sour cream/butter/bacon bits/chives/shredded cheese) still like rice and black beans with mung bean sprouts.
There used to be a little home grown hippy diner on Mass. next to Waxman's that served that little dish for 50 cents. And there was the place run by a Biker and the little lady at 8th and Vermont. Loved that high cholesterol menu!!! The sign inside the door read "Don't tell anyone about this place, remember it's your seat." The guy was a bit quirky, would throw you out if you didn't address him as "Dear". Best food in Larryville! especially on Holidays.

Ooops, pardon the religious expression.

Let this country get hungry and they are going to eat, no matter what happens to budgets, income taxes or Wall Street. Washington mustn’t forget who rules when it comes to a show down. (Will Rogers 9/32 cherokee american)

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Alright, Oak! I often wondered about men who wanted women who looked more like boys.

denak 5 years ago

Oak, I think Irish .that you probably have a little more mobility and sight than some. For many people, always asking for help is infantilizing. People with disabilities do not want help all the time. They want to be independent. Just like any other person. Most people don't mind asking for help from time to time but if most people had to ask for help all the time or the majority of time it would no longer be about independence but dependency. Not to mention that the people being asked for help would get tired of being asked.

J Good Good 5 years ago

Fast food is NOT cheap, skip that and you have more options at the grocery store. I have seen people's carts at the grocery store full of "food" but no nutritional value. Cheap soda, white bread, ramen noodles. Kids grow up eating that way, and find it hard to make wiser choices.

You can buy a weight watchers cookbook at Salvation Army. Canned vegetables can be purchased pretty cheaply and still have nutritional value, whole wheat is not more expensive than white, you can cook most things without frying them, and water is the cheapest drink there is. But someone has to break the cycle and learn a different way to eat.

denak 5 years ago

whole wheat is more expensive than white bread. What you are eating is brown bread which is not the same as whole wheat even though the package says 'wheat bread" Go to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. It needs to say "100% whole wheat bread" as the first ingredient for it to be whole wheat. If it doesn't, if it says "enriched" it is brown bread. It is the equivalent of white bread.

mom_of_three 5 years ago

Depending on how many you are feeding, it does cost more sometimes to feed fresh and homemade, even at checkers. Cantelope varies from 1.99 to $3+, green grapes cost more than red, and cauliflower can cost over $3 a head. It can be expensive, there should be no denying it. My mom worked a 12 hour shift, sometimes not getting home until after 7 at night. We had to eat and get to bed. Think about other parents who have to feed their kids and get to their next job. Somestimes there is no other option. I was lucky, and I never went hungry, but we made our food stretch. I couldnt always go to the cabinet and pick out a healthy option, like my kids can. Some parents do what they can with what they have, SOME PEOPLE have no other options.

50YearResident 5 years ago

Being fat is a habit. Fat people have fat kids. Kids eat what is furnished to them and in the amounts given. If you are fat it's because your parents made you that way. Your kids will also be fat. These are the facts of life, plain and simple.

deec 5 years ago

Its pretty hard to plant a garden or an orchard if you live in an apartment, public housing, or a rental house with a landlord who doesn't want you digging up his property. Poor folks feed their kids cheap starchy foods because it fills them up and stretches the food dollars. Poor people, just like all other humans, have a predisposition to enjoying salty and sweet tastes.

deec 5 years ago

People live where there is work. They live in subsidized housing or rental prperties that they can afford. Most people who own fruit trees don't want random strangers picking their fruit. Moving costs a lot of money. Low income people often live in apartmenbs or substandard rental housing because that is what they can afford. People that want to paint a pull-yourself-up-by-your bootstraps scenario for the poor simply want to keep the status quo for the poor: a pool of low wage workers to maximize profits for the plutocracy.

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