Obesity and Poverty

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Since 1970, the obesity rates in America have more than doubled. Currently two-thirds of (roughly 150 million) adults in the United States are either overweight, or obese (Food Research and Action Center). According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 whereas obesity is defined as a BMI greater than 30.” There are numerous factors that contribute to obesity such as: biological, behavioral and cultural influences (Food Research and Action Center). While these factors all have a large role in obesity, there is no factor with as great of an influence as poverty. According to the American Psychological Association, “In 2010, the poverty threshold, or poverty line, was 22,314 dollars for a family of four” (2). People living in poverty may be forced to depend on public assistance programs such as food stamps, or more formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. On the exterior, this program seems to benefit hungry families, but in all actually it is actually facilitating their obesity. The formerly mentioned family of four would be qualified to receive a maximum of 688 dollars a month in food stamps (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services). That equates to just over 170 dollars a week or 40 dollars per family member. A paltry amount such as this forces families to make difficult decisions regarding the amount and type of food they provide their family. Food stamps are not the only solution available; for example, a person can decide to find multiple jobs to supplement their income. However, with multiple jobs come other obesity triggering factors. Multiple jobs increase a person’s stress level which in turn ra... ... middle of paper ... ...ensity and Energy Costs." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79.1 (2004): 6-16. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. Food Research and Action Center. Relationship Between Poverty and Overweight or Obesity. 2010. Web. 21 Oct. 2013. Levine, James. "Poverty and Obesity in the U.S." Diabetes 60.11 (2011): 2667-2668. Web. 21 Oct. 2013. Libal, Autumn. "The Poor Get Fat, The Rich Get Thin?" Social Discrimination & Body Size: Too Big to FIt? 2005. 40-55. Print. 10 Nov. 2013. Maglione-Garves, Christine A, Len Kravitz and Suzzane Schneider. Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. McDonald's. I'm Loving It. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Food and Nutrition Services. 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. Supersize Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Perf. Morgan Spurlock, Daryl Isaacs and Lisa Ganjhu. 2004. DVD.

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