Obesity in Poor Neighborhoods: Break the Chain


Obesity in Poor Neighborhoods


Waiting until something good happens to your body when you abuse it every day is like waiting to win the lottery when you keep using your credit card (and not paying it off). Chances are slim anything will change for the better at this rate.

The income level of a particular neighborhood can generally be a good indicator of the type of lifestyle people may live– but it’s not a tell-all. Just today, a poor rural school district made Yahoo! headlines for having top test scores. So no, not all poor kids suck at math and it’s not always true that poor people are overweight and have diabetes. There are factors to consider when making such bold statements. One factor is truth.

These are common misconceptions about people in poorer neighborhoods:

  1. All buy junk food
  2. All are less educated
  3. All are involved in crime/drugs/violence

These statements are all absolute (do you think this way?). By saying “all poor families buy junk food”  is incorrect. Almost any statement that’s absolute is incorrect. In fact, saying 5 is a prime number with 100% certainty is still foolish. We know math is based on theory, and until proven wrong we “go with it”. Let’s say that theory was found invalid, and 5 wasn’t a prime number. Now what?

In an article titled ” Moving out of high-poverty areas may lower obesity, diabetes risk” MacMillan, a writer for Health.com explores the nature of poor neighborhoods. And although poorer families tend to have higher risks of obesity, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it. Poor neighborhoods doesn’t equal obesity. With the proper education, motivation/passion, anyone can become physically fit.

Poor neighborhoods doesn’t equal obesity.

Yes, maybe the trend is such that, however there’s no theory that’s true because it can be changed. MacMillan reports,

Despite the study’s limitations, Ludwig and his colleagues conclude that public health programs that target obesity and diabetes in high-poverty neighborhoods “could generate substantial social benefits.” This message is important for policymakers and community organizers, but also for individuals living in these neighborhoods, Blanchard says.

After generations of poor eating behavior, it’s only natural that the next offspring develop the same habits. Can we change this? Yes. How? With the right people getting involved who are willing to spend the time to make a difference. Educators and parents, a child’s primary influencers have the power to break the chain.

Visit here for a beginner’s guide to breaking the chain.

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