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More people obese than going hungry

Healthy Obesity 2006

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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 06:59 AM

http://news.bbc.co.u...lth/4793455.stm

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There are now more overweight people across the world than hungry ones, according to experts.
US professor Barry Popkin said all countries - both rich and poor - had failed to address the obesity boom.

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Speaking at an Australian conference, he said changing diets and people doing less physical exercise was the cause.

Well, that and the fact that fresh fruit and vegetables, not to mention unprocessed meats usually cost twice as much as unhealthy stuff.

When I can buy burgers for £3.99, but lean chicken for £4.99 for roughly the same weight of meat, or where a bottle of water costs as much as a bottle of coke, which is the person on a budget supposed to chose?

Edited by Godeskian, 15 August 2006 - 07:00 AM.

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#2 Rhea

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 11:13 AM

Yup, the advent of junk food has seen to that.

Poor people  used to grow their own veggies, even have their own chickens for the price of feed, and maybe a cow for milk. That's not possible, for the most part, into today's urban settings, so they settle for cheap and fattening (and not really nutritionally balanced) fast food.

Some of it is also laziness - I can make a nice dinner for $3-$4 per person (or less), which is probably what you'll spend minimum in a fast food joint. But that would mean people would actually have to cook (and it takes a certain amount of planning every week).

Edited by Rhea, 15 August 2006 - 11:38 AM.

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#3 Palisades

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:14 PM

Rhea said:

Yup, the advent of junk food has seen to that.

Plus processed foods with lots of sugars and syrups added have played their part. Often, it's cheaper -- not just in America but in foreign companies as well -- to buy packaged foods than fresh, local-grown produce and meats.
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#4 Jid

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:25 PM

View PostGodeskian, on Aug 15 2006, 05:59 AM, said:

When I can buy burgers for £3.99, but lean chicken for £4.99 for roughly the same weight of meat,
Funny, I always found the price comparable, but then, I make my own burger patties from the raw meat, and only buy the extra lean ground beef.  That way, I know there's less sawdust filler in my burger ;)

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or where a bottle of water costs as much as a bottle of coke, which is the person on a budget supposed to chose?
I used to buy bottled water, then I discovered that the majority of what's on the market is filtered tap water.  I decided I could survive the unfiltered stuff.  Can't beat a dollar to every thousand litres for price!  (And that's if you're living somewhere expensive.  Where I am, it's more like 30 cents.)

(But yeah, a 2L of milk - or a half gallon for the metrically impaired - is double the price of a 2L of cola.  Ah well, I still buy milk, I just don't drink as much as I used to. ;) )

Honestly, though, a huge number of people would probably be able to 'beat the bulge' if: 1) they had any inkling as to what an appropriately sized portion is, and 2) they actually exercised.  I started out by just deciding to go for a walk instead of watching that extra half hour of television, and progressed from there. :)

Edited by Jid, 15 August 2006 - 12:28 PM.

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#5 Rhea

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 09:19 PM

What worries me is that we're raising a generation of slugs right now. I don't see nearly as many kids outside playing in the summer as I did ten years ago. I figure they're all being babysat (is that a word? :p ) by the TV or video games or computers, when parents need to be kicking them outside to do that weird thing we did - play! Skate, ride your bicycle, swim, whatever. Hell, we used to do all that and still found time to put on plays (they were pathetic, but fun - you haven't lived till you've seen Macbeth interpreted by 11-year-olds!).

The Macbeth fiasco was my dad's fault - he had a Shakespeare that had a picture of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth - I was hugely impressed by her, especially the braids down to her ankles! Hence, Macbeth. Hence, chaos. Hence, loads of fun.

Edited by Rhea, 15 August 2006 - 09:20 PM.

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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#6 Lin731

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 09:38 PM

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What worries me is that we're raising a generation of slugs right now. I don't see nearly as many kids outside playing in the summer as I did ten years ago. I figure they're all being babysat (is that a word?  ) by the TV or video games or computers, when parents need to be kicking them outside to do that weird thing we did - play! Skate, ride your bicycle, swim, whatever. Hell, we used to do all that and still found time to put on plays (they were pathetic, but fun - you haven't lived till you've seen Macbeth interpreted by 11-year-olds!).

Part of it is also the world we live in. Where can kids play safely or at all for that matter? When I was a kid we had a big field behind us for the kids to build forts, play base ball, football etc...Where are those open spaces now? How many parents feel safe turning their kids loose on their bikes for the day now? Where can they go to swim (most of the rec centers I know charge about 5 bucks a visit for a day at the pool or playing basketball etc...). Heck many "communities" ban basketball hoop on garages or even portable ones. Many communities ban skateboarding within the city limits as do many subdivisions. In many places there simply isn't anywhere for the kids to go and do the things we did as kids, let alone do them in a safe environment. Heck I spent all day out bike riding and goofing around with my friends. How many parents would feel safe letting their kids do that now?
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#7 offworlder

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:11 PM

^ yes, those were the days - I don't have the solutions for our new world, if I did I'd get funding backing for a new consulting corp and make six figures a year ;)

but, my example: when I grew up, we didn't know about the abductions, there were some, you hear now on the cold cases and the america's wanted, somebody abducted some kid thirty years ago, but I didn't know anyone who had that and we lived pretty free: I rode my bike, and ran around on foot, not just on my street, but several streets over too: I'd go unassisted over to friends houses, and play in construction sites, you know where you throw mud and rock clusters at each other til someone's hit in the nose.

I rode my bike to the community pool; granted it was usually with four kids on bikes together, but I remember sometimes alone too; and there was no fare, dad paid a summer's membership each year, a neighborhood pool club it was, and all the families could then go as often as ya please; and we played tag and marco polo and other pool splashing games, water polo too. And we rode over to ball fields to play softball and baseball. But we also went around our neighborhood; sometimes we'd have a big side yard and all would come over to play softball or soccer, or even football; and then we'd move, so some other kid has the big yard or field next to house, and we'd all play there, and see no adult stop a van and spy on us, stalking, I don't remember any such thing; it happened as we now know from these cold case reports, but it just wasn't as prevalent, nor as reported in news.

we were pretty fancy free, but mums expected kids home for supper, and you got grounded for a week if you were too late so that supper's cold. ;)

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#8 Rhea

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 01:21 AM

I think bad things happened back then, as well. And I also think people hang on so hard to their kids sometimes now that the poor things don't get much of a childhood.

And all the parental vigilance in the world won't save your kid from an accident or a murderer. I have a friend who lives in Texas who let her little girl sit out on the steps of the apartment building where they lived for about ten minutes while she was fixing dinner. A neighbor grabbed her, raped her, murdered her and stuffed her in a dirty clothes hamper in his apartment in those few minutes. No way to prepare for something like that.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#9 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 06:46 AM

^You can cut down on the chances of it happening though.  Minimize the risk factor.

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Jid: I used to buy bottled water, then I discovered that the majority of what's on the market is filtered tap water. I decided I could survive the unfiltered stuff. Can't beat a dollar to every thousand litres for price! (And that's if you're living somewhere expensive. Where I am, it's more like 30 cents.)
Agreed.  So many people buy “bottled water” when the stuff is no better than what comes out of the tap.  I’ll admit I’m a bit spoiled since what is coming out of the tap here is very good tasting spring water. ;)  That said I’ve dealt with city tap water and while it isn’t the greatest it isn’t as bad as many people make it sound.
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#10 Themis

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 07:56 AM

My use of bottled water is mostly away from home.  There are a few cheap ones I like the taste of marginally better than tap water and I usually keep a bottle by the bed so I can screw the cap back on and it's usually there several nights.  We get bottled water in bulk at work (one of the cheap ones) and it's better than the drinking fountain water plus the cap factor again - I managed to spill cups of water (I'm usually water, not coke ets.) on and ruin two calculators.  And it's already in the bottle so it's handy when you're out and about.   Otherwise I'm usually happy with tap water - my fridge dispenses ice water, not even filtered, and that's the usual at home.  

One factor in using more processed foods at home, at least in the US and maybe more of the western world, is that there are very few stay-at-home moms to spend the afternoon preparing a meal.

Couch potato that I am, when I was in high school I used my bike for transportation around the neighborhood including the few blocks to the membership community pool.   Plus walked the two long blocks to and from school and walked to some of my friends' homes.  And we had an hour of some kind of PE a day until I was a high school senior. I'm gathering all of that has really changed now.   In college I walked from lodging to campus and all around the campus.  I was never skinny, and seem to be totally my mother's body type, but the real lack of activity didn't start until I was working and in a place where I pretty much had to drive everywhere due to distance and lack of public transport.   Oh, yeah, in the dark ages when I was a kid, there was no daytime kid tv programming - it was radio until the evening news and prime time.  But I did plenty of reading in that no-tv-time so it didn't increase the physical activity!  But I sure wasn't driven around the neighborhood - I walked or biked!

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#11 FlatlandDan

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Posted 17 August 2006 - 10:29 AM

The vast majority of obese people in the world just need to decide to do something about it.

I work with food day in and day out.  To makes things even worse, I'm in charge of the pastry section in the kitchen I work in.  And you have to taste everything.  I recognised that my weight would go up unless I did something about it, so I switched from taking the train to riding my bike to and from work.  That simple change has ment that my weight hasn't gone up (in fact, it might have gone down..slowly but surely).  The ironic thing is that it's actually faster for me to bike to work then it is for me to take the train.

I would love to be able to keep chickens.  Someday :)
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#12 SparkyCola

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:47 PM

I find it pretty distasteful that millions of people are starving to death while millions of other people are eating themselves to death.

I can't help but feel more sympathy for the former.

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#13 Fragsta

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 03:39 PM

^ Ditto. I think the fact that people who are obese (while they obviously deserve symapthy, there is only so much that can be given, just like food, considering their situation compared to malnourished people) appear to have the focus here, rather than those who are malnourished. Something seriously needs to be done about that problem, too.
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#14 SparkyCola

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 06:47 PM

^ Quite so. It seems very easy for them to entirely by-pass the issue of starvation and extreme poverty in favour of those who do it to themselves, and for whom, clearly getting enough money and food is not an issue.

I suppose it's because both sides need help, but a very different kind of help.

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