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Obesity linked to poverty

(524 Posts)
Scissordolly Sat 25-Jul-20 21:12:57

During lockdown I have been looking through my boxes of photographs. I found one of my primary school class taken in 1945. Guess what? Not a single overweight child in a reception class of 40 + children! 2/3 rd of the parents of these chn were poor as church mice! Don't tell me that healthy food like potatoes, meat and two veg or an omelette are more expensive than Kentucky Fried Chicken or Mac Donald's. Children need to be taught to cook again in secondary school. They need to be taught why we need to eat fruit and vegetables - not just told it is healthy.

Calendargirl Sat 25-Jul-20 21:19:41

Also, back in the day, children didn’t travel in cars so much, they walked more, played outdoors a lot, and didn’t snack between meals.

Oopsminty Sat 25-Jul-20 21:22:06

They just didn't have the choice available today

grannyrebel7 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:23:56

No takeaways or convenience food back in the day.

Galaxy Sat 25-Jul-20 21:25:01

Yes there wasnt the availability of fast food.

biba70 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:25:22

it is so sad

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jul-20 21:28:01

It's a complex subject.

jenpax Sat 25-Jul-20 21:31:06

Sorry to disagree with you but sadly fast food is often cheaper than cooking for many, a burger in Macdonalds can cost as little as 99p!
Lots of supermarkets run deals on cheap foods like bags of frozen chips or cheap meat burgers, and packets of biscuits for under 50p. For parents who are struggling with money these offers will seem tempting.
Our local food bank runs classes on how to stretch food and cook on a budget, it’s very popular and they have even published a book of recipes .
I don’t think though that just teaching children how to cook will sort the issue; we also need families not to be in poverty in the first place!
I shop for my youngest DD who has been shielding, she has 3 children aged 1,3 and 10 and she spends a small fortune on fresh fruit and veg a week.I am sure many very poor families would struggle to do this, much as they would want to.
Going back to the burger comparison a punnet of strawberries in Sainsburys costs £2, won’t make a meal, but £2 in Mac D will provide a burger and chips from their saver menu! a meal for some people

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jul-20 21:35:44

Lots of families are living in accommodation with limited or no cooking facilities, too.

TheFrugalPiggy Sat 25-Jul-20 21:43:56

Co-op are currently doing a deal for £5.00. It would be a "no brainer" for families on a tight budget. Chips, chicken nuggets, onion rings, garlic bread and ice cream.

Scissordolly Sat 25-Jul-20 21:48:53

Yes that is all true but families were far poorer way back then and didn't have fast food outlets. But because their mothers had taught them how to cook they managed to provide good meals for their families.

Galaxy Sat 25-Jul-20 21:54:10

The world has changed for women though, thank goodness.

EllanVannin Sat 25-Jul-20 21:56:08

All kids in my day were thin through lack of a good diet and also poverty, so obese doesn't equal poverty.
Nothing cheap about takeaways or McDonald's. A sack of potatoes would work out cheaper.

Being greedy makes you obese. Eating too much and overloading the gut which means that all the organs in your body have to work overtime breaking everything down and what can't be managed remains as fat within the body which over time builds up then causes mischief later on in years.

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jul-20 22:00:21

Yes, just spend 2 hours each day in front of the aga cooking up all sorts of dishes, seasoned from your garden herbs, and all those goodies in your pantry.

GrannyLaine Sat 25-Jul-20 22:28:45

Mr L & I were only talking about this at lunchtime. I can only remember one fairly plump child in my Primary School in the early 60s. Our diets certainly weren't poor, we were country children eating local, seasonal food. We walked to school and played outdoors. One factor in the declining health of the nation is the massive increase in sugar consumption, hidden in many processed foods, particularly in 'low fat' foods.
David Gillespie's book 'Sweet Poison' is a very interesting read, linking overall refined sugar consumption to rising obesity rates.

Callistemon Sat 25-Jul-20 22:31:32

Although the DGD's primary school is not large, I can think of only one slightly plump child there.

kjmpde Sat 25-Jul-20 22:39:28

you can get a multi pack of chocolate bars for £1 but to get 4 apples in most supermarkets it is £2. that is just one example . I'm sure that parents want to provide good meals but it is sometimes easier to give kids fill belly food than nutritious food .

Callistemon Sat 25-Jul-20 22:51:40

All supermarkets have weekly offers on fruit and vegetables.
Good protein can be expensive.

Missfoodlove Sat 25-Jul-20 23:29:16

I shop in the local market for fruit and veg.
A bag I can barely carry is loaded with loads of fresh seasonal goodies for between £12-15.
I made a tagine for 6 people for £6.
My £8 chicken from the butcher will do 3-4 meals.
Food is cheap, we are not educating young people to cook, manage and budget.
Councils should not allow so many take aways in cities and towns.

paddyanne Sun 26-Jul-20 00:01:10

No local markets where I live and its one of the most deprived areas in Scotland.On benefits day you see a steady stream of people with bags full of cheap rubbish from Farmfoods to feed their families for the week.Fruit and veg is not cheap from a supermarket especially teh CO-OP thats in our town centre
.Schools are giving vouchers to the children who would normally have school meals but these need to be spent at Farmfoods.Where my daughter lives in a more rural area the school put a cash equivalent on a card that can be used in most supermarkets

.Life will have been far more difficult these past months for these families ,its support they need not criticism and a view through rose tinted specs of a past that didn't exist for many.
I grew up in a Glasgow "scheme" there were many children who came to school with no breakfast and teachers would supply toast and milk every morning to them,these same children had to rely on uniforms handed into school for clothes .The "good old days" only exists in some minds it wasn't like that for a large % of the population

MawB Sun 26-Jul-20 02:35:49


Yes, just spend 2 hours each day in front of the aga cooking up all sorts of dishes, seasoned from your garden herbs, and all those goodies in your pantry.

I’m afraid that sums up the poverty gap doesn’t it?




Show me the local authority housing or housing association flat that has those?

There was a time which many ex-council houses which have been born sold on in the private sector will attest to, when council house gardens were big enough for a family to be self sufficient in vegetables. I know because Paw had one of these grades as an allotment when we moved to this village.

It’s funny really - look at portraits of Victorian or Edwardian “worthies” and you will see how the upper middle and middle classes were well-upholstered -a sign that they were well enough off to afford adequate food. Compare them with the working classes- thinner, smaller (inadequate nutrition in childhood) and dreadful teeth.
Even 70+ years ago I am sure we all knew the pooer children in our community who were thin little mites.
I am as certain as I can be that junk food, stuffed trans fats and corn sugar - in particular “hidden” sugars and fats - are at the bottom of it. Plus portion sizes - and at the risk of accusations of being anti-US these have spread fro the other side of the Atlantic. I did a school exchange to Kentucky in the 60’s and despite being very well fed at home , remember to this day the size of portions especially in restaurants.

Beechnut Sun 26-Jul-20 06:24:42

As a child I lived in a council house and we had a pantry, a Rayburn which mum always used for cooking and a back garden full of vegetables.

Furret Sun 26-Jul-20 06:53:07

Fruit might well be expensive but many vegetables are cheap. You do not need to spend hours in front of an Aga cooking (duh). And the cost of a healthy meal per capita can beat or match these cheap deals.

All I’m hearing is excuses not reasons.

One argument though that is valid is the lack of choice of fresh veg in many little local shops.

Furret Sun 26-Jul-20 06:54:49

The poorest children back in the day were thin, not nowadays, The poorest, are often fed fatty fast food.

ladymuck Sun 26-Jul-20 07:01:27

One big difference in the 'old days' is that most women were housewives. They didn't go out to work, so they had time to cook properly. The cheaper cuts of meat take longer to cook, but women had the time to do it then.
Also, school dinners were better...meat, potatoes and a veg, plus a pudding.
Sheer laziness and lack of time is the reason for poor diets these days.