Health professionals fear that Americans' lighter wallets will lead to bigger bellies. During tight times, consumers tend to pick cheap, high-calorie foods over healthy items such as lean meats and fresh produce, Reuters reports. "Obesity is a toxic result of a failing economic environment," said one nutritionist. When poverty goes up 10%, obesity rises 6%, according to one study.
None of this is news to McDonald's. A spokesman recently reported growth and said the chain "continues to be recession resistant." So is it possible to be thrifty and healthy? One doc suggests a "diet for a new Depression." He recommends looking for "affordable but nutrient-rich food" such as ground beef, beans, milk, nuts, cheese, carrots, potatoes, canned tomatoes, soups and rice.