Real class warfare attacks the poor and fat

Over the past year we’ve heard a lot about class warfare, the “Buffett Rule” and the tax code and so on. But if you want to see a blatant form of poor vs. rich, walk into a grocery store. Here we are forced to decide between what’s good for our kids and what we can afford to feed them.

Ground beef that is 80/20 is fattier but cheaper than 90/10. Ground turkey breast is leaner than the other two but is usually the more expensive. And many of us can’t even begin to think about free-range chicken and organic produce — food without pesticides and antibiotics that’ll cost you a second mortgage in no time at all.

Recently Michelle Obama’s campaign to get healthier foods into poor neighborhoods came under new scrutiny because two studies found her notion of “food deserts” — poor urban neighborhoods where access to fresh fruits and vegetables are supposedly nonexistent — doesn’t quite jibe with the research. The studies have even found that there isn’t a relationship between the type of food offered in neighborhoods and obesity among the children living there…

But it is also true that The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study that found $1 could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips but just 250 calories of vegetables and 170 calories of fresh fruit. And it is also true that Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, is also the fattest.

In fact, the five poorest states are also among the 10 fattest, and eight of the 10 poorest states are also among the 10 with the lowest life expectancy.

I guess one could dismiss this as one big coincidence, but is it also a coincidence that half of the top 10 states with the highest median incomes are also in the top 10 in life expectancy?

I don’t know about “food deserts,” but I do know just as there is a link between education and poverty, there appears to be a correlation between poverty and health…

The first lady was accused by Republicans of politicizing the healthy food conversation. I wish the topic were politicized — maybe then Washington would talk about it more.

President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was characterized by many as “socialized medicine.” Well, why aren’t those same critics leading the charge against the nation’s expanding waistline, seeing as how taxpayers pay the price when the cost comes due?

The explosive increase in the rate of Type 2 diabetes in children coincides with the rise of child obesity, childhood poverty. American conservatives couldn’t care less. Republicans don’t say it on camera; but, I don’t doubt in the least they feel better about poor people dying young instead of worrying over the cost of care as they die off.

Yes, that’s the sort of comment that gets TV talking heads and useless mainstream politicians all publicly upset. They forget about it when the next reality star wanders down the yellow brick road. Meanwhile, poor kids eat what their parents can afford to feed them. They’re chained to lousy nutrition, lousy habits are built for life – Class Warfare prevails.

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4 comments

  1. Schalk

    Interesting how the US government pays lots of taxpayer money to encourage the production of meat products and then pays even more taxpayer money for the healthcare to treat the inevitable degenerative disease epidemic. Not exactly the smartest approach…

  2. Sean Breslin

    Blaming this on one political party isn’t what we should be doing. Everyone is at fault, so we need to put our heads together and figure out the problem.

    • god

      Historically, philosophically – even semantically, Sean – that’s called sophistry. The Party of NO hasn’t any interest in bipartisan solutions – so, bipartisan discussions won’t happen.

      Independent expertise is always available; but, again, the two choices we’re allowed as parties of choice divide as a matter of practice into one which will allow a certain amount of serious science-based solutions – and the other which will not countenance even the discussion except in terms which profits their benefactors.

      We saw this in the most recent farm bill as proposed: Change around the greatest benefit from farmers to insurance companies and screw ordinary people out of food stamps. Which exacerbates the problem. Only one party tried hardest to screw American voters. Does politesse require ignoring that?

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