Thursday, August 4, 2011

Too Poor to be Thin?

I always have problems with studies like this which claim that you have to be rich to eat right. 

First of all, it's kind of vague.  It says that adding potassium, vitamin D, calcium and fiber to diets will add hundreds to groceries bills, but then doesn't explain how or why.

Additionally, it talks about ADDING these nutrients, not substituting.  If you're not spending $3 on a bag of potato chips you can then take that money and buy a few potatoes, bake them and viola you've added fiber and Vitamin D to your diet (while eliminating salt and fat).

Now, I don't want to seem to be insensitive, but, I'm sorry, there are better food alternatives for the poor than eating $1 meals at McDonald's.  

Because my grandmother was an Italian immigrant I grew up eating a lot of "peasant" food, and a plate of beans and rice is a cheap alternative to a fast-food burger that provides you with a lot more nutrients and a lot less fat and sodium.    Another alternative is pasta with lentils.   It's cheap, it's filling, and it won't make you balloon up to 300 or more pounds.  

Or how about something as simple as a banana for breakfast or a baked potato for lunch? 

If you're not buying fast food and junk food, then that frees up funds to buy food that is healthier, more nutritious and less fattening.  


  1. Your train of thought seems logical to me. Personally I think the whole fast food/convenience food thing is more of a habit than anything else. The dollar-menu peeps I know couldn't identify a lentil if it bit them in the nose. And they use 'not having time to prep food' as part of their defense as well. Sad.

  2. Amen.......a few years ago I found out that I have allergies to soy and corn! Foods that are used a lot in processed foods in this country,so I have to stay away from all the "junk" and make from scratch and go back to basics. Personally I don't really find it much different cost wise especially if you use a farmers market!

  3. The too poor to be thin excuse used to be the one our family used for years. Then I realized how much processed food I was buying at that 'cheap' grocery store...Wow.

    Now we spend much less buying at an organic farmer's market and buying real food.

    I bought the lie for too long...thinking that it was more expensive to eat healthy.

  4. You need to read EVERY ONE of hte Living Poor posts on my blog, and then search for my posts on weight and food pantries and weight and poverty. I know everyone likes to think they're "poor" but people living below the poverty line are getting more junk food and less healthy food than the rest of the population, because that food is cheap and filling.

    Sadly, it's not a lie, it's the way it is for many people. And the lack of understanding, denial of SCIENTIFIC STUDIES on the topic, and the stigma of poverty that makes it even worse. It's easier to place blame than to solve problems.

  5. I read that this morning and found it odd that they could publish their findings based on 3,300 surveyed ... Seems like a small number of folks for a survey

  6. No one seems to be addressing a very vital issue, which is: why would a family have children if they are not in a position to support them? It's called family planning, folks, and this is 2011. I'm always shocked when I hear people complain about how hard it is to feed a family of four, etc. It's so obvious to me, but evidently a real weird way of thinking to every one else. Can you really think about your standard of living before you expand your family. If you don't have any disposable income, or can't "afford" quality food, etc., for the love of the exploding world population, lay off the reproduction!

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