Why are our poor people fat?


Western poverty is very different to poverty in other parts of the world. The people that our politicians consider to be poor are often overweight if not obese. A left-wing magazine has tried to explain this strange phenomenon of fat poor people and has coined a new term, “food swamp.” This new politically charged term goes nicely with their other made up term, “food desert

[…] Food swamp. That’s what happens when people have too many food choices and too much food.

[…] researchers from the University of Connecticut?s?Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity?compared the obesity rate of U.S. counties to their ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and supermarkets?their level of food-swampiness, in other words.

The food swamps?had about?four unhealthy options for each healthy one. Food swamps were a strong predictor of obesity rates?even stronger than food deserts were.

Similarly, a?2011 longitudinal study?found that nearby supermarkets didn?t improve people?s diets much overall. But people?low-income men in particular?did eat more fast food when there was more fast food nearby.

I hope our new government is taking notes. Sugar taxes will not make any difference to poor people’s food choices. Poor people are no different to anyone else. They will pay for convenience. Maybe I shouldn’t point this inconvenient fact out. Next thing you know they will be banning Mcdonalds.

[…] It’s almost as if…

  1. The Food Desert is a myth
  2. People make decisions about what they want
  3. Those decisions have consequences.
  4. Obesity is a direct result of individual choices rather than some sort of corporate conspiracy

But no. Now that an Orwellian name has been coined. It’s time to start in with more government intervention.

As a potential remedy, the food-swamp study authors suggest counties could introduce zoning restrictions that would reduce the number of fast-food joints while simultaneously increasing the number of grocery stores. But they should do so carefully. Los Angeles?banned new fast-food restaurants?in a low-income part of the city in 2008, but the measure was considered a failure after obesity rates there continued to rise.

Left-wing governments always think that they can legislate or tax people into making better choices. They can’t.