So it’s no surprise that a study conducted out of the University of California–Davis has shown that there’s a strong link between obesity and poverty-level wages.
According to this article on ScienceDaily.com, there are a number of reasons why lower income can present greater risk for obesity, among these being:
- Poorer people live in more dangerous neighborhoods and have limited access to parks and other places where they can exercise without dishing out money for a gym.
- The cost of eating healthy is rising, whereas processed and junk food is cheap and readily available.
Paul Leigh, a professor at the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research and the lead author for this study, suggests that raising minimum wages will help solve the problem of obesity in America. “Doing so could increase purchasing power enough to expand access to healthier lifestyle choices,” says Leigh.
What implications can we derive from this study, in the context of developing countries like the Philippines? According to this 2008 article on Inquirer.net, 23 million Filipinos (roughly 27 percent of the population) live below the poverty line, which was set at an income level of US $1.35 a day. Even discounting the poorest sectors, there are still a lot of people who subsist from paycheck to paycheck, many of whom find it much cheaper and more convenient to simply buy lunch at the nearest fast food joint or snack on chips and other junk food.
Don’t worry, though—even if you've got limited funds, you can still make healthy choices. Check out these tips on eating (and buying) healthy while on a tight budget.
(Photo source: sxc.hu)
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