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Obesity: Social and Economic Trends May Play a Role

Posted Oct 02 2008 3:12pm

Note from Connie: Experts often cite a number of reasons as to why people become obese or overweight. They blameserving sizesor evenvirusesandgut bugs. Now, an economist from RAND -- you know the much-acclaimed think tank -- says that money may play a role. Gerry Pugliese brings you details.

A new study by  Dr. Roland Sturm, senior economist at RAND, published in the journal Public Health, finds that social and economic trends could be a strong predictor of why people get fat. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Sturm's study:

"Can one distinguish between important and less important behavioural changes and relate them to environmental incentives? People face trade-offs in allocating their scarce resources of time and money to best achieve their goals, including health. Studying what people are doing with their time and money is a good start towards understanding how economic incentives have altered energy intake and energy expenditure in a way that has led to weight gain." 

Definitely a factor!

Let's face it, cheap foods—which, of course, contain refined carbohydrates and sugar—go a long way on a tight budget. But, unfortunately, the glucose-raising qualities of these foods do little to ensure healthy bodyweight.

Granted, the study acknowledges the importance of promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, but in economic lean times—like now—a bag of $0.99 white rice feeds more mouths than a couple of apples.

Gerry Pugliese for the SUGAR SHOCK! Blog

Connie comments again: Sadly, though, people don't realize that while they will save money initially by buying cheaper culprit carbs, they may lose money in the long run, because getting sick is darn expensive. And sad to say, ultimately, spending less on food all the time can lead to a diminished life span.

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