Relationship Between Poverty and Obesity

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Does low socioeconomic status bear a significant role in the obesity epidemic? A national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) estimated that more than two-thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese (body mass index of over 30), and the percentage is escalating. The Census Bureau (2011) reported 46.2 million people in America are currently living beneath the official poverty line. The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent; up from 14.3 percent in 2009; this was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate (Census Bureau, 2011). One might assume that obesity and poverty are not associated, but this is not accurate. The correlation between poverty and obesity can be witnessed in the vast majority of the low-income communities amidst the country. Low socioeconomic status influences patterns of eating (food insecurities), and restricts access to healthy and affordable nourishment linking poverty to the soaring obesity epidemic; solutions to lower the risk for obesity in low socioeconomic individuals includes: changing the dynamics of low income communities and second solution is to increase the benefits and participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) (2012) stated that “obesity plagues low-income people in this country just as hunger and food insecurity do” (para. 4). Due to predetermined budgets and the proliferating cost of food, individuals will sporadically condense their intake or omit meals to extend their food budget. This manner or pattern of consuming food triggers people to overindulge when sustenance does become obtainable, resulting in habitual ups and downs in food consumption that prom...

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Food Research and Action Center. (2012, February). A Review of Strategies to Bolster SNAP’s Role in Improving Nutrition as well as Food Security. Retrieved from Food Research and Action Center:

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