Friday, July 11, 2008

Obesity - a rich man disease?

Obesity has always been branded as a rich man (or woman) disease. Whenever the subject props up, an image will invariably prop up in my mind (setting aside political correctness at this point in time): an obese white man.

People with means can afford to feed themselves with food richer with calories while others from the other end of the spectrum can hardly afford a decent meal a day. That all makes sense doesn't it? Or does it?

Irrefutably, money can buy you food but also healthy ones as well. In London, Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda are stocking their shelves with cans of peas and beans at less than 30p while canned spaghetti can be bought at below 50p, generic instant noodles at 8p per pack and long grain rice at 46p/500g.

On the other hand, fresh vegetables and fruits are sold at a couple of pounds a bunch and lean free-range meat is priced even higher. If you're a single parent surviving on the state welfare, it wouldn't be difficult to decide what you're going to feed your kid with.

In other words, the poorer segment of the society is not only feeding on empty calories, they're literally surviving on highly processed and downright unhealthy food that is causing many to succumb to obesity related diseases or ailments due to malnutrition.

Fast food chains (with MacDonald's leading the way) do not help matters. With cola laden with sugar, greasy patties (where did that meat come from anyway?) and fries cooked with recycled oil, it's not exactly what you would call a healthy diet.

So before you tuck in the next time round, ask yourself this question: Is this the food that you want inside you?


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28 comments:

LadyBanana said...

Which shop is that selling such cheap noodles and rice? I wanna go there! lol

Nomadic Matt said...

our bodies arent meant to eat so much food. they weren't built for gluttany. It's interesting to see that as asia develops so does their rate of obesity and related diseases. Very sad....an asian diet is much healthier!

My Bug Life said...

The guy's belly is really scary. He need to eat wisely and exercise!

Talen said...

An Asian diet is very healthy but sadly all the fast food places are invading Asia and taking over.

I couldn't wait to see my first sights when I went to Bangkok on my first trip. The first things I saw were Starbucks, McDonald's, and KFC.

There is actually a study just published that suggests under eating is the key to a longer life.

hparis said...

It's a misnomer that obese people are gluttons. The quality of the food eaten has as much to do with obesity as the quantity of it. Some of the fattest people are dieters who are starving themselves on rice cakes and scratching their heads as to why they're so darn fat. Plus what may be perceived as gluttony to a "normal" sized person may actually be a healthy caloric intake for an obese person. Keep in mind, the heavier a person is, the higher the required caloric intake is to maintain basic body functions.

As far as the cost to eat healthy - I think governments are partially to blame as they subsidize the manufacture and distribution of unhealthy foods and ingredients such as corn and wheat, while leaving the asparagus farmers out in the cold. How can a McD's double cheeseburger cost $1.00 USD while a pound of asparagus is $3.99 or a pound of cherries is $6.99??? It's all about kickbacks and profits and very little to do with health. Just take a look at the US public school system government subsidized lunch menu - you'll get the picture.

Fast thing said...

Nowadays, it become most country problem

eastcoastlife said...

I don't eat much, only two meals a day and yet I just put on weight. I eat Chinese meals of rice, fish, vegetables and soup. I seldom eat fast food. I'm not a glutton!

C K said...

@ladybanana,
I think the further you go from central London, the cheaper the stuff sold at supermarkets (I'm sure you know this already):)

Those gigantic ASDAs in the suburbs are really cheap....

C K said...

@normadic matt,
I think every diet is fine taken in moderation. Jasmine rice taken with coconut oil laden curry can be a sure way to fatten one up if taken every meal.

Even sushi itself, which is essentially rice, is not to be taken in bulk... but then again, it's pretty expensive, so...

C K said...

@my bug life,
Oh yeah, I swore off eating (at least for the rest of the day) after uploading the picture. :p

C K said...

@talen,
I read an similar with similar findings before. But sadly, some of us (like me) live to eat. Sigh.

C K said...

@hparis,
For most governments, the main objective is to feed its populace. It's more efficient to feed them with cheap staple food than healthier ones, which usually doesn't provide enough calories.

Essentially, bread fills up the stomach more easily than asparagus. :)

C K said...

@fast thing,
Oh yeah, you can say that again. :)

C K said...

@ecl,
You should start jogging with your boy. I'm sure that will keep you a mighty fit mum!

I think it's not what we eat, which is just half of the picture, it's also whether we expend those energy.

Anonymous said...

to ck n eastcoastlife :

ever heard of "1 sec on the lips n a lifetime on the hips" ? LOL

ck, the instant noodles very cheap there leh ! I buy import from Malacca (60gram pack) between € 0,29 - € 0,69 n it doesnt fill my little tummy like it does with the packs from Sg (80 gram pack ??)

Merlion said...

sorry, punched the wrong button, ck. Anonymous is Dutchie :)

Deb said...

I saw a very interesting advert in Phnom Penh a couple of days ago, for some kind of milk formula promoting weight gain. Hahaha, I should upload it. That'll never happen in the West!

Wenbin said...

That picture is really a comment grabber!!!

C K said...

@anonymous,
The 8p packet weighs 65grams. Cooking it in soup is enough to fill my stomach. I'm a small eater. :)

C K said...

@merlion,
Ok, now I'm confused. If Anon is Dutchie, then who're you? :)

C K said...

@deb,
You mean there are people over there trying to gain weight? I recall there are similar adverts in Singapore when I was there. But they are for people with medical conditions...

C K said...

@wenbin,
Oh yeah, they do, don't they? It sure makes you hop on to the treadmill after looking at it.

Dutchie said...

ck, Anon n Merlion is Dutchie. I punched the wrong button. Sorry for the confusion.

C K said...

@Dutchie/Merlion,
So... shall I refer to you as Dutchie or Merlion? lol

Dutchie said...

Dutchie will do lah - actually my colleagues in Sg gave me this nick for obvious reasons ;-)

Pretty apt, no ?

SheR. said...

Hi CK!!! I know where to get those cheap instant noodles!! Tesco's or Sainsbury's!! I used to shop there every week for my food. ;)
Lucky thing I was no obese.. but living on a London diet will really make you fat if you do not watch what you eat and just go for the "Value" Meals....evil they are..

C K said...

@Dutchie,
Got that, Dutchie, you'll be!

C K said...

@Sher.
But looking at your photo, I think you can afford it. Come to think of it, I've not seen a really slim chef.

Hey, you got to feast more to start looking like a successful chef!

But I'm guilty of falling for those 2 for the price of 1 gimmicks. Hmm, need to cut down on wastage.