Obesity and Poverty

In these studies we have poverty, poor quality food, and both malnutrition and obesity in the same household.

According to the total calories theory of obesity, none of these populations should have an obesity problem.

Yet, most children are undernourished, with stunted growth being a result.

In the adult population most of the women and a considerable number of men become obese?

Yet the diet is very meager, mothers go without, to feed their children and still become obese.

So Why?

The answer is carbohydrate intolerance.

Rolf Richards puts his finger on that answer. After about 25 years of eating the cheapest and quite inadequate food the body adapts to that.

When carbohydrate intolerance develops, more insulin is produced and people get fat.

The homeostasis of the body changes, the metabolism rate down-regulates, and then one can get fat on the same poor diet.

These diets are high in carbohydrates and low in both protein and fat. The diets lack quality.

Low Fat Diet Obesity
The Obesity of Poverty

Is there any place on earth where mothers would starve their children so they themselves could get fat? Of course not.

Jamaica - West Indies - Prof Rolf Richards 1973.

Obesity is common in adults. 66% of adult women are obese.

Malnutrition and sub-nutrition are common in the first two years of life.

Sub-nutrition continues into the teenage years.

Obesity begins in women at age 25 or 30 and quickly reaches enormous proportions.

Diet often less than 2000kcal a day. A diet of poverty, 21% Fat.

Western Sahara Refugees - Camps in Algeria - 2012

These camps have existed for 40 years. The forgotten refugees.

Diet supplied by the UN World Food Programme.

The diet supplies 2100kcal a day, 71% Carbohydrate, 19% Protein and 10% Vegetable Oil.

Often the diet is short supplied. Children are stunted and underweight.

Women are stunted but also 70% with central obesity.

Teenage Girls 16-19yrs - Rural South Africa - 2014.

Limited food in household. Best to skip breakfast.

Home gardens supply a small amount of vegetables for some families.

If breakfast was eaten, it was pap (Maize based porridge; mielie-meal) and tea.

Meal supplied at school. Beans and soup, or chopped corn and beans.

Girls quite active, some walk 10km a day. Most play sport.

Strong aspiration to eat more meat and to buy fast foods. (Signals of prosperity.)

These girls were not obese, but there is a high likelihood that they will soon become obese, because obesity is common among women in their community.

Plains Indians.

On the Sioux Reservation the people live almost entirely off government rations.

40% or the women and 10% of the men are obese.

25% of the children are obese.

Most of the children are stunted and thin.

The Market Supplies Different Food

In every market based society the cheapest food is carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is easy to transport and to store. UN or government rations are always carbohydrate heavy. So is the food supplied for school breakfast or lunches.

If people are land rich, and can hunt for food. Then the cheapest foods are fish, birds and small animals. In the USA in 1780's even slaves ate meat at every meal.