No need to tighten your belt -- credit crunch will worsen obesity epidemic

August 6, 2009,

Levels of debt have been associated with an increased risk of being fat. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Public Health blame the trend on the high price of healthy food, and a tendency for people worried by debt to comfort eat.

Eva Münster, from the University of Mainz, Germany, worked with a team of researchers to study more than 9000 people, finding that 25% of the 949 people in debt were medically obese, compared to only 11% of the remaining 8318 participants. She said, "The recent credit crunch will have health implications for private households. While income, education and occupational status are frequently used in definitions of , levels of debt are not usually considered. We've shown that debt can be associated with the probability of being overweight or obese, independent of these factors".

The researchers explain that debt can affect a series of risk factors for , for example by limiting leisure time activities and participation in social events. The quality of an individual's diet can also be negatively affected. According to Münster, "A person's ability to pick and choose the food they eat often depends on the financial resources they have available. Energy-dense foods such as sweets or fatty snacks are often less expensive compared to food with lower energy density such as fruit or vegetables".

More information: Over-indebtedness as a marker of socioeconomic status and its association with : a cross-sectional study; Eva Munster, Heiko Ruger, Elke Ochsmann, Stephan Letzel and Andre M Toschke; (in press); http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpublichealth/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
not rated yet Aug 07, 2009
"A person's ability to pick and choose the food they eat often depends on the financial resources they have available. Energy-dense foods such as sweets or fatty snacks are often less expensive compared to food with lower energy density such as fruit or vegetables".

Evidence suggests it's not just the "fatty snacks" that has caused the obesity epidemic but carbohydrates, whether in the form of sugar or cheap, abundantly available, grain derived starchy snacks and foods (fried or not).

Remember; excess carbs are converted in the body to saturated fatty acids for energy storage = obesity.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.