I've heard it said that only aristocrats and the poor swear. Mediocre behaviour can be expected from those who fall in between. Now the bourgeois can claim another trait solely for themselves: that of eating fast food. Exclusively.
It turns out we have just enough money to eat the crap, and too much not to afford it, while not having enough to crank up the class a notch and go to a sit-down. For the poor to feed a family of four on 28 dollars a meal in America is steep, says this article on Time, "Fast Food's Biggest Customer".
According to author Meredith Melnick, research shows there's a cliff of a bell curve to income vs. fast food consumption. It rises with earnings up to about 60,000 dollars annually, and then drops beyond that level as families are able to dine at 'slow-food', sit-down places.
Fast food is not, then, the main culprit to blame when it comes to the problem of obesity among poor people. It's beyond the scope of this article to settle on what exactly is responsible for the (American) epidemic. But it hints that convenience stores could be to blame.
Even more depressing than a well-lit fast food joint is, perhaps, the image of the 'food deserts' mentioned here. These are neighbourhoods where healthy, fresh food is virtually non-existent, and the locals are left with no choice but to buy the high-fat, high-sugar products available at their corner stores instead. At least a burger offers protein.
The article suggests that we should refocus our attention on enriching people's environments, which are as responsible for obesity when barren, as when they are rife with readily available fast food. I'm tempted to be smug that Canada's way better off, but I hear we're headed a similar way with our own obesity problem.
Plus those food deserts sound awfully familiar: I know people who live not too far outside the Vancouver area who've had to take a cab they can barely afford to get groceries. A quick Google Maps search for 'supermarkets greater Vancouver' will reveal that, not too surprisingly, there are a heck of a lot of grocery stores downtown. However, I'd like to know whether places like West Van and North Van have a similar supermarket to population ratio when compared with as densely populated but poorer areas of Van and its suburbs.