Obesity is a health condition that results from accumulation of fat in the body that has adverse effects on health of victims. It is caused by excessive intake of high-energy foods, genetic makeup of individuals, and lack of adequate physical exercise (Wolin 34). It reduces life expectancy and predisposes individuals to other health problems such as type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer (Wolin 35).
Individuals with obesity are more prone to diseases than individuals without obesity are. In olden days, obesity was associated with wealthy people. However, the situation has changed. Research suggests that poor people are more likely to be obese than rich people.
One of the reasons why poor people are more prone to obesity than rich people is because of poor diet. A major cause of obesity is excess intake of high-energy foods (Smith 44). Many parents from poor households cannot afford healthy meals for their families. For example, they buy processed foods for breakfast and dinner.
In contrast, rich people take time to prepare meals that are balanced in nutritive content. Fast foods and processed foods are usually rich in fat that is a predisposing factor to obesity (Pena and Bacalloa 51). Since fast foods are cheap and readymade, parents prefer them without considering their health implications
Poor people have little or no access to health facilities such as gyms for workouts (Pena and Bacalloa 53). Rich people can afford to subscribe to health facilities for regular workouts.
On the contrary, poor people rely on physical activities such as walking and running for exercise. However, with frequent intake of foods rich in high fat content, ordinary physical activities are not sufficient. On the other hand, parents from poor families do not play active roles in the lives of their children (Smith 47). They allow children do things on their own. As such, children eat junk foods because it is sugary and sweet. Many parents from rich families play active roles in the lives of their children.
They ensure that their children eat healthy foods, and take them to the doctor for regular medical checkups (Levine 2667). In addition, poor people do not get time for exercise because at the end of the day, they are very tired from working. Many poor people work in manual jobs that are very tiresome and that pay small wages. Their little income denies them access to farmers markets that sell healthy foods (Levine 2667).
Poor people prefer high-calorie foods because they keep them satisfied for longer. This helps them tackle hard times when they cannot get food readily. A research conducted by the University of Miami found out that whenever people realize that food was scarce, they turn to high-calorie foods that keep them satisfied for longer compared to healthier low-calorie foods (Drewnowski 8).
Foods such as wheat, corn, and potatoes are cheap but unhealthy. It is easier to feed a family with fast food that costs little money than to purchase healthier foods that are more expensive. These high-calorie foods predispose people to obesity. Poor people prefer fast foods because they are cheap and can easily feed their families on small budgets (Drewnowski 10). However, their health implications are adverse and cause serious complications in the long-term.
Another reason why poor people are more prone to obesity than rich people is level of education. Many poor people are uneducated and ignorant.
Therefore, they possess little knowledge on importance of eating a balanced diet (Borland par2). They consider the cost of food first rather than its nutritive value. Poor people do not know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food. Nutritional knowledge would enable them differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods. However, they know little about negative effects of various foods on health.
Therefore, they consume foods based on how much they cost rather than their nutritive value (Borland par3). They opt for fast foods in order to save money. There is a direct relationship between income and obesity. Poor people prefer cheap food rather than healthy food. In contrast, rich people prefer healthy food even though it is expensive. Poor people buy the cheapest foods that they can get in order to save money (Borland par6). In today’s society, the cheapest foods are junk foods that are rich in high calories.
Poor people are more likely to be obese because the foods they can afford are unhealthy and cheap. They do not consider the nutritive value of food but its price. Junk food is the cheapest type of food sold today. In order to save money for other uses, poor people opt for junk food that has high calorie content.
Other reasons include lack of access to health training facilities, and lack of knowledge on importance of healthy eating because of low levels of education. In addition, parents from poor families do not play active roles in the lives of their children. These factors predispose poor people to obesity more than rich people.
Borland, Sophie. The poor are moiré likely to be obese, says health minister. 23 Jan. 2013. Web. <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266796/Health-minister-Anna-Soubry-says-obesity-linked-class.html>.
Drewnowski, Adam. Poverty and Obesity: The Role of Energy Density and Energy Costs. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79.1 (2002): 6-16. Print.
Levine, James. Poverty and Obesity in the U.S. Diabetes 6.11 (2006): 2667-2668. Print.
Pena, Manuel, and Bacalloa Jorge. Obesity and poverty: a new public health challenge. New York: Pan American Health Org, 2000. Print.
Smith, Patricia. Obesity among poor Americans: is public assistance the problem? New York: Vanderbilt University Press, 2007. Print.
Wolin, Kathleen. Obesity. New York: ABC-CLIO, 2009. Print.