Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Oct 1, 2009 in Economy, Health | 38 comments

Fat, Poor & Sick

Daniel Engber:

Being fat can make you poor, and being poor can make you sick, which means that being fat can make you sick irrespective of any weight-related diseases. Fatness (or the lifestyle associated with obesity) also creates its own health problems, regardless of how much money you have—and health problems tend to make people poor, through hospital bills and missed days of work. So fat can be impoverishing irrespective of any weight-related discrimination.

The point here is that sickness, poverty, and obesity are spun together in a dense web of reciprocal causality. Anyone who’s fat is more likely to be poor and sick. Anyone who’s poor is more likely to be fat and sick. And anyone who’s sick is more likely to be poor and fat.

READ ON for what this means for health reform.

Freakonomics hints, “it may be that the obesity fight and income inequality are one and the same.”