Is the Credit Crunch the solution to the Obesity Crisis?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by pombsen-armchair-warrior, Oct 31, 2008.

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  1. Reluctantly placed this topic in current affairs as it has more than enough potential to head straight to the NAAFI.

    The extract below is a taken from Times Online, and starkly illustrates the effect of the credit crunch on US consumer munch. What happens in the US is likely to be reflected in UK at some point, and with that in mind, is this likely to be a win-win situation to defeat obesity without huge amounts being spent on fat reduction drugs, cosmetic surgery, and NHS emotional sp, and with a general improvement in UK health with its consequent benefits to the economy, or will the munchers increase their intake of comfort food in order to survive the effects of the credit crunch.

    Belt-tightening has become a harsh reality for America’s hard-up consumers in more ways than one. In a stark sign of the toll on US households from recessionary times, big-eating Americans’ notorious appetites are feeling the squeeze, with their spending on food falling at the fastest pace in 50 years.
  2. no. fatties will just buy cheaper versions of the same stuff.
    asda own-brand mars bars instead of real ones.
  3. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Won't this mean if people are spending less on food or cannot afford healthy stuff, they will look to the cheaper, unhealthy stuff to fill up on ? Average shopping bill increases = those unable to afford decent options for food turn to cheaper alternatives = probably less healthy options = obesity rises. Or have I got this arrse about face ?

    The solution to the obesity crisis as profferred by so many, very amusing entries by fellow arrsers on many threads is more about get off sofa, run or go to gym, eat less. I don't think the logic ref credit crunch holds. Being a sensible forum, I would also suggest:

    a. Bolstering Jamie Oliver's worthy school meals campaign (much more so than is currently being done).
    b. Ensuring a long term education for all children (and parents) throughout the life of a child's education, including continuing it for those at university.
    c. Compulsory cooking lessons in all schools at all ages
    d. Compulsory sport at all schools
    e. Curbing the more ridiculous H&S at W bulls*it that stops traditional childrens activities because schools are in fear of being sued or worse(such as conkers, snowball fights etc - its all about gettig kids outside). Parents should sign a disclaimer for such activites. Let kids be kids.
    f. Get into the food industry and legislate against them utilising so much crap and additives in food (read Fast Food Nation)
    g. Incentivise UK farmers to go organic - start driving for this to be the norm rather than something we should all be eating but cannot afford to because the conglomerate supermarkets overprice organic produce.

    And rest...

    The credit crunch might reduce the amount people actually buy, but I do not think it will translate into slimmer waistlines...
  4. Yep and then they will start comfort eating as they are worse off
  5. Cannot remember any fat kids in my street during rationing during/after the war.
    We were all pale faced skinny little runts. [but fit].
  6. The real healthy stuff is cheap though. Fruit, veg, rice and pasta etc don't cost much. People can save a fortune and improve their diet by moving away from takeaway and processed food over to cooking for them selves and using unpackaged stuff.
  7. Anything that involves preperation or cooking will always present a challenge, therefore the fat will get fatter an even worse junk.
  8. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    I remember a week or so before the banks started collapsing, but problems were looming, some smug geezer from Domino's Pizza' was gurning to the camera 'Oh, yes our sales have gone up. Most people can't afford to go to a nice restaurant during a credit crisis, so we are seeing our orders go up as a consequence'. What he really meant was the fatties are buying up as much lard, trans fat and salt (much like traders were switching from worthless stocks to gold) in anticipation of 'leaner' times. They'll be licking their KFC boxes clean soon.
  9. Bowmore_Assassin

    Bowmore_Assassin LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I do not disagree, but for some convenience weighs in over actually having to cook properly. Pun intended.

    IMHO, it is habit you have to break and this will take a long time, hence a lot of my list is about teaching kids about food. The food industry (who only care about profit) also have a lot to answer for and only laws can make them sort their terrible attitude out. A convenience meal once in a while is fine if you are busy/on the hoof/whatever, but some people are not only fat, they are idle and they cannot be arrsed to do what is good for them. So they eat lardy sh*t all day because it is easy, even if it is more expensive than the options you outlined - their perception is it is cheap and easy. (And I am not saying all fat people are idle before I start taking incommmiiing).

    Edited to add, Command_doh sums it up nicely, albeit about eating out rather than cooking at home. Same point I am making.
  10. I don't think it will be that much of a solution, TBH. The ones hit hardest will be the same old whipping-boys, those on one or more low-paying jobs who're already struggling to keep head above water. The determinedly unemployable will carry on as before, despite having far more time in which to prepare fresh meals.

    The solution to obesity will only ever be to starve the wilfully greedy or to eradicate idleness.
  11. Not so in a lot of places.

    How much does it cost to buy/transport and cook enough rice (with flavouring) for one person - compare to the price of a "all you can eat" buffet lunch at the local chinky.

    Fresh fruit and veg is much much more expensive, especially the organic stuff, than any number of supersize take away McDs and the like.

    If anything the credit crunch is going to mean more fatties not less.
  12. People who have no money, or are supposed to have none, the unemployed and on benefits etc always seem to have the money for their fags & beer. Just because someone has less money doesn't mean they give up on things that may be bad for them.

    So no, the credit crunch will do nothing to stop the UK filling up with fat people.
  13. Good point, and remaining on that theme I was watching Hugh F-W's Autumn River Cottage last night, which introduced a new concept whereby people provide land for others to grow food on, in return for a share of what is produced - sounds a cracking idea (link below), although I believe the take up may be by those who already lead a healthy lifestyle rather than those who are already calorie-challenged.
  14. The article was saying that people aren't eating out as much in proper restaurants, not fast food outlets. Some Mums don't even have cookers because they eat all their meals from the chippy/burger bar/pizza place/Indian/Chinese or they think that giving their child a pot noodle is giving them a good meal.
    They are fat useless blobs because they are thick and lazy and say things like "what can you do? They wont eat anything other than McDonalds".

    Here's waht you can do, just a thought:

    1. Get off your lardy arrse
    2. Get off your lardy arrse
    3. Get off your lardy arrse
  15. Perhaps the economic crisis will have little positive effect on the obesity problem in Britain. Most obese people have diets mainly consisting of processed foods. And, typically, the cheaper products have greater quantities of fat in them. Fat is cheap (especially hydrogenated fat) and is used to bulk up processed foods. It's a scam and is indicative of the malaise caused by centralised big business controlling our food supply.

    Ultimately, as people become poorer they'll turn to cheaper produce. Fresh produce, like fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, and meat, is becoming more expensive. However, the big producers have economies of scale on their side. And they can always inject water or fat into their products and disguise the effects with greater quantities of salt or MSG.

    Prior to this model, food was typically locally sourced and freshly prepared. Prior to ordinary families being ravaged by inflation (devaluation of the pound) it was typically only necessary for one person to go out to work to support a family. Now, in order to bring up kids and keep a home, it's necessary for both parents to work. Ergo, there is typically little time and energy left to freshly prepare meals.

    Before we became wholly reliant on supermarkets, food was typically locally sourced and freshly prepared for consumption. People didn't take trips to out of town supermarkets and stock up on a week's supply of food. They bought from their local seller, who had bought from the local producer. People had direct control over what they consumed. But not now, and this problem has been compounded since the EU dictated that our abattoirs be centralised. Now we have the perverse situation where cattle reared in Northumberland must travel several hundred miles to slaughter. Then, once slaughtered and processed, meat is shipped back to Northumberland for sale and consumption. A golden ticket for the monopolistic supermarkets. And a greater threat of BSE and foot and mouth, to boot.

    How many truly obese people did we see even thirty years ago? And even fatties in those days looked healthier than the pale, wheezing slabs of lard we see today. In those days fatties did eat too much, but also too much freshly prepared healthier stuff. Now we have entire estates shopping at Iceland and the fallout is plain to see. The devastation will manifest itself in decades to come when we'll be forced to face and fund the consequences of this social sickness. I wonder if the NHS will survive in the years to come.

    These problems are yet to exist in Italy and France. They still have locally sourced produce. They still understand the virtue of cooking from scratch. Socialist scum. It seems that we're beginning to experience many inevitable and painful consequences of letting big business run our lives, from the banks to the food suppliers.

    One final thing that may be worthy of thought. With our centralised model, the supermarkets use the 'just in time' delivery system. At any one time there is typically only three days worth of food in the UK. So, imagine the banks were to fail. Imagine this collapse to encompass failure of the electronic payment systems. Supermarkets wouldn't be able to pay for storage, delivery, or produce. And with only three days worth of supplies available, how long before people go hungry. Welcome to Britain, leaders in the world of 'free trade'.