Food deserts might not be a major cause of obesity

Slate has a story about obesity and the availability of fresh food that both casts some serious doubt on the idea that food deserts are the cause of obesity in poverty stricken communities and should make you question the way we accept and spread conventional wisdom. Turns out, the stressors of poverty could have more to do with food choices and poor health than whether or not you can buy kale at the local grocery store.

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  1. There was never an actual causative link there, just a good correlation... though to be fair to that bit of conventional wisdom, it was never whether or not you could get Kale at the local grocery store. In a food desert the 7/11 often IS what passes for a grocery store.

    That being said, I do fundamentally agree. Making it harder to get decent food on top of all of the other executive stresses of being poor just make it that much harder to make the choices you need to make to get ahead.

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  3. xzzy says:

    It's perfectly possible to eat desserts and lose weight.

    The "secret" is to identify your maintenance calories and eat less than that every day. Want a slice of cheesecake? You might have to skip lunch but you can do it. In theory you could pull it off by eating nothing but McDonald's.

    You'll probably end up in the hospital for other problems such as malnutrition because fast food and convenience store fare is pretty much devoid of vitamins, but at least you'll leave a skinny corpse!

  4. The main reason for the massive outbreak of obesity is modern "short stalk high yield wheat" which bears no relation to wheat as we knew it back in the 1950s. In actual fact it is so far removed from what wheat was back then that it is doubtful if it is legal to call it wheat.

    And this is why I have a hard time trusting Gary Taubes to produce unbiased research on obesity. The above statement actually hasn't been proven. Not by a long shot. But it is Gary Taubes business to claim that it has been.

  5. Their reliance on rice is why the Indian and Chinese civilisations were so short-lived.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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