Wide load

It is one of nature’s mistakes that the slowest people on any given pavement tend to be the widest.

I once said this in earshot of some morbidly obese pedestrians and was admonished by my companion. “Shhh,” she said. “They can hear you.” What are they going to do? I wondered. Chase me down?

There’s nothing wrong with being prejudiced against the obese provided that your assumptions are merely that they are lazy and indulgent. It is prejudice against laziness and indulgence that is the problem.

So here is a question that has been irritating me: during which period in British (or American) history did obesity stop being a characteristic of the rich and become a trait of the poor? I imagine it must be the 20th century, but when, exactly? Somebody give me a decade.

Pigging Out, taken by Kyle Jones and used under the Creative Commons licence

5 Responses to “Wide load”

  1. laverneandshirley Says:

    I think it’s when McDonalds was invented.

  2. Tom L Says:

    Was obesity ever more common in any particular group until the 1990s?

  3. Tom Nealon Says:

    When “food product” was invented. The difference between food product and food is the former is much cheaper.

  4. Tom L Says:

    Try this answer from Stumbling and Mumbling: “Economic insecurity, it says, causes weight gain for men. In the US in 2000, each one percentage point higher probability of becoming unemployed is associated with a one pound gain in weight; figures refer to the year 2000.”

  5. pouletnoir Says:

    Interesting, although Stumbling and Mumbling doesn’t answer the question. It merely proves a correlation between poor (or “economically insecure”) people and obesity in developed countries. But it is true that the question can be answered by economics.

    It is all about food pricing: poor people in developed countries are obese because cheap food is high in sugar and fat. Cheap food in developing countries is not. So I want to know in which decade high-sugar and high-fat food started outselling non-processed cheap food.

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