Hungry and obese Americans?
I remember the pictures of the skinny malnourished American families in those magazines and history books. The hungry families from the 1960’s that were struggling just to get their basic needs like food and shelter. The images that promoted American politicians to take action against hunger.
Hunger is still a major issue in America. Hungry families, hungry kids. What is different?
Americans are still hungry but aren’t skinny.
We need to change our thinking. There are too many obese Americans going to bed hungry. What a paradox.
What is the definition of a Hunger-Obesity Paradox?
The Hunger-Obesity Paradox is the high rates of obesity among poor and lower-income people who lack resources and access to healthy food.
In fact, scientists note that a poor and lower-income person can be obese yet at the same time be malnourished and hungry. Intuitively, this shouldn’t be the case, meaning that we think of obesity as some issue of overeating. When we think of hunger, we think about African and Asian nations where underweight children and adults die of hunger every minute.
Why this hunger-obesity paradox?
Why? Scientists point that, in general, the lower-income population are overeating cheaper high fat high sugar foods just for daily survival. They “binge” on these foods because of
- worries of limited resources (money) during other times of the month
- lack of availability of high quality nutritious foods
- lack of time, energy and education to find ways substitute healthy foods for high fat, high sugar items.
The situation is complex and solutions in a tight economy are limited.
Sugared beverages are part of the problem
Research has emerged recently from Princeton University that sugared drinks, especially those with high fructose corn syrup (the main sugar in most sodas/soft drinks in America) could be one of the main causes for these high rates of obesity. In poorer communities there is a high intake of these sugared high fructose corn syrup drinks.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
- We can be obese and hungry
- Drinking high sugared drinks with high fructose corn syrup is a risk for obesity
- Too many Americans go to bed hungry every night
- Too many Americans do not have access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables
- And too many Americans open up their refrigerators without enough food in them
What do you think?
And your thoughts. What are your ideas on how Americans, in one of the richest countries of the world, could escape this life of being hungry and obese? Please share your comments in the “leave a reply” section below.