Nutritionists Fear We'll Pack On 'Recession Pounds'

Obesity rate linked to poverty
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2009 4:54 AM CST
Amalia Marquez reaches for a package of mushrooms at a supermarket in Miami. Health professionals fear strapped consumers will start choosing unhealthy foods.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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(Newser) – 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.