F as in Fat…and Finances

Topics: Aging and Costs of Aging, Obesity and Weight Loss

Fat and broke, and getting fatter: the Healthy Americans new study showing that no state dropped in obesity rate last year and 38 states are over 25% obese.

But undiscussed is income: it’s a major driver of the obesity epidemic, because calorie-rich food is cheap and getting cheaper. Over 35 percent of adults who earn under $15,000 a year are obese, but only 24.5 percent in the over-$50,000 per year.

Yes, this is also education, and ethnicity: poor urban neighborhoods too often are unsafe places to play, and have too few fruits and vegetables for sale.

Cost of veggies vs fast food

Fast food calories per dollar

Several people have made this connection already: Suze Orman has dedicated this CNBC season to “health and wealth”, and has linked out-of-control finances and out-of-control weight, and though I’m not a FICO score expert, I do know that people who have less money to spend (i.e., nearly everyone) are more mindful about what their dollars can buy.

And it’s no secret that calories are cheap: when you can buy 800 calories for $1 (2 liter soda) and the graph below shows cheap fast food, it’s no wonder. As fast food has gotten cheaper, healthier foods have gotten more expensive.

But there is a cure: it’s learning to cook (even wealthy and famous people are doing it: Kristen Stewart makes her own 6 hour marinara); and it’s eating SOUL (sustainable, organic, unprocessed, local…grown yourself) food.

  • Donald James

    It is even more than the 2 liter soda – seems like since the economy got worse every fast food establishment is offering a $1 menu with very unhealthy options – bacon cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, deep fried chicken sandwich, etc. Not a good path.