The War on Christmas

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AuthorTopic: The War on Christmas
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #50
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

I have seen no discernible difference in the distribution of fast food places in one part of town compared with another part of town. If cooking was more prevalent in one part of town compared too another big business would know about... Being poor is no excuse for being fat.
Dude, there is a *definite* difference in the distribution of fast food joints, restaurants, bodegas, and most importantly, grocery stores, in different neighborhoods. There certainly was in Chicago, anyway. And big business does know about it.

Grocery stores are the most important because bodegas and convenience stores are way more expensive when you are trying to buy healthy foods. Grocery stores, in my experience, are less plentiful in poorer neighborhoods AND are more expensive. Seriously; the built up giant grocery stores that populate the rich Chicago suburbs have really cheap prices. The city-sized ones on the south side where I lived had more expensive prices.

This isn't a deliberate attempt to make poor people fat but it is an exploitation of the circumstances of those neighborhoods. Less competition for groceries mean they can be priced higher. And fast food is dramatically less healthy than food at most restaurants, but it's also dramatically cheaper. If you really are poor it's hard to afford to eat well.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
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Profile #51
What kind of cities are you living in?and what kind of Grocery store/fast food places do you go too. Lets assume for the moment you don't have a oven and only have a microwave. The gorcery stores I have been too and worked at all had healthy alterinve microwaveable dinners. Now lets also assume your house burned downed, you broke your leg, and lost job you could still eat somewhat healthy because a lot of fast food places offer some form of salad. I still maintain that obesity is a matter lack of self discipline then class. By the way their are times when my oven was working (had to find a place with the filament) and my parents still had no trouble finding healthy food on a very limited budget that was microwavable. Also our lack of money encourage a healthy but cheap alternative, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. None of the indgreidents need to be refrigerated, cooked, ect.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #52
quote:
There certainly was in Chicago, anyway. And big business does know about it.
Having visited the Seattle metropolis on numerous occasions, I have noticed patterns in store distribution. However, in a small community like Winnemucca, that is not prevalent.

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A Bile Crux
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #53
Nobody's saying that self-discipline isn't also a factor in obesity. Obviously it is. But there are external factors as well.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #54
Underscore Slarty here. It's certainly much easier to eat healthy when you can afford that organic produce from the farmer's market. But when all you've got is a couple bucks, and your choice is between a cheeseburger and a single heirloom tomato, the decision is usually pretty simple.

It possible to eat right cheaply, but it's harder.

[ Saturday, December 15, 2007 19:25: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 7298
Profile #55
I still find that hard to buy. Food stamps are easy enough too get and because of that food wasn't a problem. The only thing you really need to get food stamps is to show up at your local human resources department and show them that your paycheck can't make ends meet and you can get food stamps. People are just simply to lazy to prepare their food rich or poor and fattening food is just more attractive then healthy food.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #56
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

I still find that hard to buy. Food stamps are easy enough too get and because of that food wasn't a problem.
Apparently the average monthly benefit per person is in the neighborhood of $80. That's not very much money to feed someone for a whole month. It certainly won't cover anything expensive.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #57
Food stamps aren't that simple to obtain, at least around here, because of fraud. Additionally, you can't just buy anything with food stamps. Usually, you're left with the cheap and easy-to-obtain stuff. No buying a ham or expensive, healthy food. Just stuff capable of sustaining life, really.

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Hz'ii'zt a'iiencf coxnen a'bn'z'p pahuen yzpa'zuhb be'tt'phukh'kn az'ii'ova mxn't bhcizvi'fl?

Nioca's Citadel - A resource for BoA graphics and scripts, as well as my scenarios.
In Last Hope's Light RP - The end is near...
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #58
Since legalities differ within separate states, access to food stamps varies. I actually have no knowledge of food stamps in our locality, but we're blessed with a plethora of job openings.

Do potatoes count as healthy food? They're dirt cheap where I live.

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A Bile Crux
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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Member # 7298
Profile #59
I guess the cost of living is absurd where you live because usually most months we would have a surplus. I won't say getting them was easy but there weren't any major obstacles.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #60
Eh, you've rekindled my interest to see if I can create new recipes from everyday household ingredients. I think I've already come up with two interesting and simple ideas.

And I do think potatoes count as healthy, so long as that's not the only thing you eat.

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Hz'ii'zt a'iiencf coxnen a'bn'z'p pahuen yzpa'zuhb be'tt'phukh'kn az'ii'ova mxn't bhcizvi'fl?

Nioca's Citadel - A resource for BoA graphics and scripts, as well as my scenarios.
In Last Hope's Light RP - The end is near...
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #61
Hmm. I thought people became obese because they couldn't understand the labels on food tins. What part about "12 servings per container, 120 calories per serving" does that person not understand as they finish off the bag during one session watching television on the couch?

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #62
quote:
Originally written by Uhpa'ovfo'g the Holy:

And I do think potatoes count as healthy, so long as that's not the only thing you eat.
Oh, definitely. Potatoes are a miracle crop, if what you want is plenty of energy and a marginally adequate amount of vitamin C. There's a reason why they fed the entire Irish population until the potato famine of the 19th century. The trouble is that plenty of energy is the last thing that people in the first world need.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #63
You can get by on food stamps, but most people don't want to spend the time in food preparation and tend to buy unhealthly foods anyway. Cheaper grades of hamburger are one way they go on this type of menu. One of my friends went and bought a month's supply of macaroni and cheese boxes until his mother found out how he was saving money.

There have been studies since the end of World War II on getting by on low budgets and most find that it takes a lot of discipline to do so. You also have to take the time to shop for the ingredients.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6388
Profile #64
Safey, I'm only going to say this once more, and I'm going to spell it out in its most basic components. Nothing about what I'm saying is subject to any kind of real controversy. OK:

a) Binge eating is the most efficient way there is under normal circumstances to gain fat.
b) Going for more than about a quarter of a waking day without eating about three quarters of a pound of food tends to physically nearly mandate overeating when food is available again. The longer, the worse. The desire to binge is profound, and grows worse the worse the surrounding starvation is.
c) When people go without sufficient calories or food mass for long enough, their bodies - to preserve energy - enter a digestive state commonly known as starvation, in which the metabolism slows down - reducing both ability to exert and the energy consumed by exertion.
c1) Hunger is to starvation as a paper cut is to a sucking chest wound. 'Willpower' is nice to talk about when you're talking about hunger, but starvation breaks down the 'will' like few things human beings have ever discovered; one of the most common stories to come from the Holocaust and any other humanitarian crisis involving serious food deprivation is a complete breakdown of humanity. Eli Wiesel in Night described a young man on a death train choking his father over a fistful of stale bread. Starvation is one of a very few things that can induce in a living person a sort of physical premonition of doom - a state in which not just the consciousness but the organs composing the body are aware of and afraid of impending death. There is little more willpower involved in resisting the urge to eat - and continue eating until completely full - when confronted with starvation than there is in resisting the urge to suck in as much air as possible in the throes of drowning.
d) Starvation combined with binge eating produces a perfect storm of weight gain: during 'lean' periods the body loses little to no weight, and during 'fat' periods the body gains large amounts.
e) Given the above, any artificial situation that induces starvation where food is otherwise widely available - that is, any situation where people are routinely starved and then given access to enough food to stuff themselves - will produce obesity.

f) The growth of the larger and larger suburb, a phenomenon known as exurbia, together with the high price of gas and the extreme gas-inefficiency of 90s model cars - that is, cars currently in the market at prices anyone making less than $40,000 a year can afford - have produced a situation in which the travel cost in picking up any amount of food at the supermarket can be prohibitively high. A 15 mpg car on a 90-mile round trip, with gas at $3/gal, will add $12 to the price of groceries -- or, for an extremely generous scenario, roughly one day's food for a four-member family. The least generous scenario I could think of would involve a round trip better than 150 miles at $4 a gallon and 5 mpg - in other words, ten times as much.
g) With a limited supply of money, it stands to reason that one will shop for food less frequently.
h) Ergo: the less money one has, the more likely one is to spend all or most of it in a single trip.

i) Consider how long different foods take to rot. No supply cycle longer than two weeks will allow for an even remotely balanced diet afterwards, for no fresh fruit will survive two weeks - even in a refrigerator - and remain edible. Many complex carbohydrates will rot as well. In essence, long before the next planned resupply, the family - or individual, for that matter - will either run out of some type of nutrient or out of food altogether.
j) If there is any money left, the family/individual might be able to supplement the food cycle as necessary - but for however little money is left, chances are good it will have to be with something very close and very cheap. This more or less limits the options to junk food.
k) It follows that anyone without the discretionary budget to pay a cover charge between $12 and $120 on a semi-weekly basis will have a diet encouraging at least some periods of starvation, and anyone incapable of doing so on a weekly or bi-weekly basis will have a diet dominated by them, and binges punctuating them.
l) Inductive reasoning aside, obesity in America is overwhelmingly linked to poverty by observations and studies; there is a massive body of statistics confirming each of my conclusions.

I'd like to close this with one brief observation: I understand that many people have a great deal of respect for 'choice' in situations like this, but sociological problems are nothing like personal ones. When one person gets incredibly fat, maybe he has a problem. When half of a country gets incredibly fat, it's time to ask some serious questions - and one of them is about the conventional model of dealing with fat. Considering that our current model for dealing with fat - strident insistence that fat is a product of laziness, stupidity, and poor habits - has existed more or less since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in America, it's really worth asking why it is that it's been of so little use in making us any thinner.

On a personal level, I can attest that TV dinners and other frozen prepareds are actually a hell of a lot cheaper than I could possibly squeeze out of individual ingredients. I have to say that half-assing a self-prepared diet would quite possibly be the worst way of doing it; the last thing someone whose diet primarily revolves around microwaved box meals needs is the occasional omelette, unless he happens to be an anorexic firefighter.

[ Sunday, December 16, 2007 01:06: Message edited by: Najosz Thjsza Kjras ]
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #65
The problem still boils down to calories being cheap and nutrition being expensive. That might explain poor nutrition, but it doesn't explain obesity. The problem is that high calorie for weight/volume food is also cheap and ubiquitous, but low calorie foods aren't. In other words, obesity isn't due to the fact that people eat burgers and pizza. It's due to the fact that they eat more burgers and pizza than they can without gaining a lot of weight.

In other words, we have an excess of empty calories, but the empty isn't the immediate problem here and the calories are. While it would be nice to have nutritional calories in meals, it's probably easier to have more food that's just plain empty. Snacking on cardboard would be great if it were even marginally appetizing.

—Alorael, who believes that it's probably more possible to live well on a tiny budget than Alec makes it look, but it also might require giving things up. Like, say, anything resembling a traditional meal, or possibly even the idea of meals instead of snacking throughout the day. And that isn't compatible with most jobs.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 7298
Profile #66
your post is relevant to starvation isn't relevant to obesity which is what is being discussed. If pushed came to shove I could probably survive on red bean and rice and peanut butter and jelly sandwich s neither of which is extremely fattening. Nor are either really expensive are require refrigeration. The only thing you might need is a stove or hot plate for the red beans and rice.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #67
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

your post is relevant to starvation isn't relevant to obesity which is what is being discussed.
The obese are, metabolically, in a constant state of starvation -- that's why their bodies do everything possible to accumulate fat. That was exactly his point. Of course, it's no surprise that you're as ignorant of biology as you are of politics.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 7298
Profile #68
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Safey:

your post is relevant to starvation isn't relevant to obesity which is what is being discussed.
The obese are, metabolically, in a constant state of starvation -- that's why their bodies do everything possible to accumulate fat. That was exactly his point. Of course, it's no surprise that you're as ignorant of biology as you are of politics.

Its 4:30 in the morning I'm not going to remember some remote piece of biology(I prefer astrophysics anyways) off the top of my head. The main thing behind obesity is we are a society of convenience. We want what is convenient and fatting foods are more convenient. Even for rich people fatting foods are more convenient. I'll admit I'm a bit rounder at the waist then I won't but I"m not about to blame someone else for that.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6934
Profile #69
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

Its 4:30 in the morning I'm not going to remember some remote piece of biology(I prefer astrophysics anyways) off the top of my head. The main thing behind obesity is we are a society of convenience. We want what is convenient and fatting foods are more convenient. Even for rich people fatting foods are more convenient. I'll admit I'm a bit rounder at the waist then I won't but I"m not about to blame someone else for that.

I have hear of mental disorders involving starving then binging but they normally involve being skinny or average weight. I haven't heard of a version as mentioned above. Perhaps the problem is that poor people don't have access to a psychologist? The problem seems to be more of a mental illness then how rich or poor people are.

There is a lot of hear-say in what you're claiming. Do you actually believe that any opinion is as relevant as others, just because somebody is able to utter it? Or do you acknowledge at all that research, delving into a matter, reading a variety of sources - in short: studying something - possibly grants a more profound basis for an argument than something along the lines: "I've heard that a couple of poor fat people believe the moon is made from blue cheese, whereas I've also heard a couple of rich lean people said it's red cheese. It must be red then."

What really troubles me is that you are reffering to the basics of nutrition as some "remote pieces of biology". Judging from your profile you are just a few weeks short of becoming 19 years old. How remote can biology be for you then?

I wonder how your interest in astrophysics came to be, if you despise the basics of science so much.

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Always be true to yourself - unless you suck
Posts: 183 | Registered: Sunday, March 19 2006 08:00
Post Navel Trauma ^_^
Member # 67
Profile Homepage #70
quote:
Originally written by Najosz Thjsza Kjras:

A 15 mpg car on a 90-mile round trip
How come US car manufacturers and city planners haven't all been murdered by an angry mob yet?

[ Sunday, December 16, 2007 08:49: Message edited by: Khoth ]

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Barcoorah: I even did it to a big dorset ram.

New Mac BoE
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #71
Didn't you hear? The angry mob was killed.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #72
Given that Alec explained the biology of starvation and why it affects the poor and causes obesity in his post, requiring you to use absolutely no memory, I find myself inclined to agree with his assessment. You're too wrapped up in your own ideas to even read what others are writing, let alone respond to it.

—Alorael, who will repeat: starvation response is not a mental disorder. It's part of how humans (and other animals) are hard-wired to avoid starving to death. It just happens to interact poorly with modern life.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #73
quote:
How come US car manufacturers and city planners haven't all been murdered by an angry mob yet?
They'd use their trucks to run them over, but they're recalled at the moment. :)

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A Bile Crux
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #74
quote:
Originally written by Khoth:

How come US car manufacturers and city planners haven't all been murdered by an angry mob yet?
For the most part, we are incredibly lazy. We prefer to wait until someone else complains first...

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00

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