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Many Overweight People Can't Afford to Buy Food

Many of the working poor struggle to keep their refrigerator stocked with food, yet many are overweight and diabetic. This is a classic example of a modern-day paradox: As reliable access to healthful food declines, the likelihood of being overweight increases. The working poor often have little money to buy fresh vegetables and other healthy food and face a long walk even to get to a supermarket with a produce section. Ironically, some of California's produce pickers can't even afford to eat the produce they pick. Instead, they opt for the cheapest food they can find, like potatoes, bread and beans, not for lack of knowledge of what is healthy, but because they simply can't afford healthy food--and often must go without the kind of food or the amount they need. Most efforts to curb obesity focus on educating people to choose their diets well, but this misses an entire group of people whose choices are limited by income.

The Seattle Times March 4, 2004

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