How Inequality Leads to Obesity

Tom Jacobs: “Everyone who has ever turned to their friends Ben and Jerry for solace following a break-up is aware that painful emotions often lead to overeating. Yet when discussing the obesity epidemic among low-income families, policymakers tend to focus on more tangible factors, such as the cost and availability of healthy food.”

“Over the past few years, a number of researchers have begun pointing out this emotion blindness, suggesting the stress of poverty is an underappreciated underlying problem. Two new studies that confirm and refine this proposition have just been published.”

“So a more equal society, where most members feel respected and experience a sense of belonging, is a lower-stress society, and this reduces anxiety-based eating, which, in turn, combats obesity.”

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