Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fat People Shop At Wal-Mart

I'm catching up on my reading today, and I found a really good piece on the differences regarding how rich, skinny people shop versus poor, fat people. You can check it out here:

I thought the above graphic showing the changes in food prices for different items since 1978 was particularly interesting. Calorie and sugar laden carbonated beverages are now 34% cheaper than in 1978, but the prices for fresh fruits and vegetables have risen by more than a third.

It's sad that healthy food has to cost so much more than unhealthy processed foods.

But I think the other message here is that if you do care about your health and weight, you have to change your shopping habits. You do have to make the quality of your food an economic priority.

Plus, I don't buy the argument that preparing your own food takes more time and energy. If you know some basic cooking techniques, its possible to make fresh food in the same amount of time it takes to prepare something that's processed.

I can make a whole meal in the time it takes to boil pasta, and can grill a piece of fresh fish and make a salad and dressing in less time then it takes to heat up a frozen chicken pot pie. The problem is not time and energy, it's will and know-how.

If you know how to make food, and have the will to do so, you can in less time then it takes to order in or heat up something that's pre-made.


  1. I think you have some great points, but I will challenge you on the amount of time and energy it takes to prepare fresh food. I do all of the grocery shopping, food prep, and cooking in our household, and it is very time consuming compared to the moms that pop a pizza in the oven or go the fast food route. I'm willing to do it for health and to save momey for my family, but I'm certainly not saving myself time or energy! Selecting fresh foods in the store, lugging the groceries home, putting them away, wrapping meat (yuck), washing, cutting, chopping, mixing, baking, boiling, cleaning up after cooking a meal..... This is all a lot of work. Just sayin....

  2. OK, make that "save money", not "momey".

  3. I think it all balances out... or it can if people want it to.

    A lot of the junk food may be cheaper, but it's addicting and a lot of people eat more of it.

    There are ways to eat healthy & still cut corners. Like only eat meat 3 or 4 times a week. Make beans, or quiches or have a big salad or a veggie stew or casserole. Shop at a local farmer's market to cut corners on produce; get frozen for when you can't get there so you don't miss your helpings. Frozen veggies are cheap and they retain more vitamins anyway because they're frozen right after picking. There are ways to cut corners on time, too-- use a crock pot, you can prepare your dinner in like 15 minutes. Don't cook 1 quart of stew; cook 6 and freeze them in quart containers.

    I don't think eating healthier really has to cost more or take more time; it just takes getting used to.

  4. I think it's a food culture problem. I feel sad when I think what kind of food culture we're passing down to the next generation. But, you know, mine wasn't that great either-- I'm hopeful that I can provide something better to my kids.

    I was a Wegman's "Best Customer" last year which means I spent I-don't-want-to-know on good food. Would like to do this in a more frugal context :)