So if I want a 99 cent soda instead of spending four bucks on juice, I'm not alone. I don't drink soda often because I usually drink tea. But good foods like fruit and juices and healthy vegetables should not be considered luxuries. Far too often these foods are the last to go into the cart because what is filling must be budgeted for first. So obesity is now recognized as a hallmark of poverty.
Bad pun warning:
Despite the gravity of the problem, it is not evident that reducing obesity is among the top global policy priorities, the report said. Responses to the obesity epidemic have ranged from doing nothing to trying to promote healthier behaviors through taxes, bans or restrictions on certain foods and awareness campaigns. There have also been extreme cases in Japan where fines have been imposed to employees exceeding certain waistline limits.
The problem isn't that poor people are drawn to junk food. The problem is we can't afford better.
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 - Global food prices continued to decline for six consecutive months, but still remain very high and close to their historical peaks. The persistently high and volatile food prices not only influence conditions of hunger and undernutrition, but also obesity which may increase in the context of high prices as people opt for cheaper, less nutritious food to feed their families, the World Bank Group’s quarterly Food Price Watch report said.
“Unhealthy food tends to be cheaper than healthy ones, like junk food in developed countries. When poor people with some disposable income in developing countries try to cope with high and increasingly volatile food prices, they also tend to choose cheap food that is high in calories but without much nutritious value,” said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank Group’s Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. “Half of the world's overweight people live in just nine countries -- China, United States, Germany, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey -- evidence that obesity is not an epidemic restricted only to rich countries.”