You’ve heard it around. It makes it onto the various fat feeds from time-to-time. It even regularly pops up on Progressive blogs that are otherwise less judgmental of people of size. That is, some version of:
“Poor people are fatter on average because they have less access to the ‘right’ foods and less ability/time to do the ‘right’ exercise.”
I won’t go into the much-pitched and varied solutions to the statement above; rather, I want to talk about the statement above as a statement of fact. Because I’ve rarely been in a space, even a fat-positive space, where the statement above isn’t taken as a statement of fact.
But really, isn’t this just another example of correlation = causation?
That is, where is the proof that if the average poor fat family eats the same foods and does the same exercise as the average middle-class, average-weight family, they will become average-weight?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
That’s what I fucking thought.
I’m tired of the “Poor fats are fat because of their bad habits!” whether or not their habits are apologized for afterwards as being not their fault (the case in Progressive blogs, not so much in conservative spaces). It’s condescending, elitist, and makes me fucking furious. Unless you can back up your claims please cut that shit out. The vast majority of people are fat because they’re programmed to be fat, with some variation in a narrow range (like 30 lbs). (see my Truth About Fat: References)
Also, the perpetuation of the “Poor fats are fat because of diet/exercise” trope silences actual useful research as to why poorer people in “First World Countries” (I hate that fucking phrase) are fatter on average than their richer counterparts. That is, I believe discrimination, racism, and expectations play a much larger role than we think, and that understanding those factors as they contribute to the “poor fat problem” would be enlightening, interesting, and possibly useful, unlike the tired, recycled, useless “The poor need to be educated to move more and eat better!” bullshit.
What do you think?