How on Earth can anyone end up being fat, or even worse than that - obese, yet be poor at the same time? I have often wondered about that when I was a much younger lad.
I always thought that being poor meant starving to death, just like those you see in parts of Africa and various other third world countries around the world? You know the ones I mean don’t you? Those in the streets begging for food and looking at the cameramen who are recording them for their fundraising charity events and documentaries. Those very same people who will then all sit down at a very big table and have a very nice big posh meal and congratulate themselves on how well they did to highlight the poor and starving.
Anyway back to the subject of fat, old and poor people.
Now, as stated already, it really is tragic to see poor people begging for food in the streets, more so, when you look at them with their bones sticking out from under their skin and looking like a living skeleton. And of course not even able to stand on their boney pencil thin legs. So the question I keep asking after seeing those poor people on the TV is how on Earth can you be fat, or even obese in some individuals cases, and yet be poor at the very same time? How does that all work I keep asking myself?
Being poor means no money for food does it not?
I am well aware of course that if you lack mobility due to health or maybe general age reasons, (those being the two main factors), then that would in some cases add to the problem when it comes to getting fat due in the main to lack of much needed exercise, however, even if it is just a somewhat simple case of sitting on your backside all day long and shovelling food into yourself all the time the question yet again must be asked - if you are poor and have no money for food then where does all that food come from? Or is that type of poverty not the same as being poor and starving to death in the streets in third world countries?
Taking all of these various factors into account with direct regard to being fat in your old age, such as a slow metabolism, unable to exercise due to physical limitations or just simply being idle minded when it came to getting up and getting into shape still did not answer my main question however, that being - how can you be fat if you are poor and have no money for food? And of course when I say poor, I also mean no money for booze and ending up with a beer belly.
So to answer my own question after all these years I would have to say it is mainly down to diet. Diet being of course the big issue when it comes to being obese.
In somewhat simplistic terms eating the right kind of healthy food can often be out of reach for those who can only afford cheap belly filling food that often has no true health benefits at all when it comes to feeding yourself with only very limited funds to spare.
Eating healthy food can be done, even when on a limited budget, but when it comes to having enough food with only a couple of pounds in your pocket to survive on for a week, or even longer, then that is a whole different ball game as the saying goes.
Therefore in that situation, when it comes to selecting what type of food to buy all the time, it is often based on the price of certain food items and not selecting healthy based options.
Buying a big bag of frozen chips, (French fries as they are called in other areas of the world), that are full of cooking fat, (when cooked in oil), is not the ideal thing to eat each and everyday but at least it will last a lot longer than a bag of frozen vegetables that are far less in quantity/content within a bag for the same price as a perfect example.
Of course cooking fresh vegetables is the ideal way of saving money rather than paying extra on prepackaged frozen food items but the fact remains that some so-called healthy options is not that cost effective.
In the case of fresh vegetables, as a perfect example, there is not much left to eat after you have peeled or cut away the non usable parts. That being the case the option to buy food items that have quantity rather than quality with direct regard to keeping your belly full for a week, rather than healthy food that will soon be used up within a couple of days for the same price, is often the only viable choice when funds are so low that a pound needs to go a long way over a week long period.
Many good quality food items would be far better to have than food that is full of fat, sugar and other such ingredients but to buy such quality lean meats and other healthy food options does come at a price. Buying protein rich lean meat, for example, that comes to, let’s say £3 for one single meal, is all well and good for just one meal for just one day but when all you have is £3 to last you for food for a week or more then such items are nothing more than an out of reach luxury.
So what do you do? Yes that’s right you end up buying dirt cheap junk to keep yourself going. A packet of cheap biscuits for example may make a nice little snack from time to time but try living on them all the time because that is all you can afford to buy instead of eating healthy food.
Maybe that is why we often see those more financially better off individuals and families looking far more healthy? Apart from looking nice and going to the gym and the health spa, due to having extra money to spare, maybe it is also due to having money to spare on more healthy, but of course often more expensive, food items?
It is fair to say that lack of mobility, due to physical limitations, slowing down due to getting old or being idle minded when it comes to keeping fit and eating junk food all the time does all add to the problem of becoming obese over a period of time, but in all fairness if funds are low then low quality food items can often be the only way forward, (and clearly adds to the problem of course), if a person cannot afford something better, and that means high in fat and sugar cheap junk food regardless if you want it or not.