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Weight Gain and Economic Insecurity

  1. Jul 12, 2010 #1


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    I doubt that the people who gained weight had actually looked at their options and decided that gaining weight would be the optimal course of action that would minimize uncertainty. If, so how can it be an "optimal response"? Isn't it more like an "irrational response"?
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  3. Jul 12, 2010 #2
    It is only an optimal response if for some reason they think they are going to go without food. It could be sub optional if they were trying to save money on food. It could be a comfort response in that food provides them with an escape from their situation. Or it could be non causal in that heavier people have less options in the type of work they can do. It could also be that a few people are dramatically affecting the average. Perhaps the average goes up but the median goes down.
  4. Jul 12, 2010 #3
    I think one of the reasons is because in poor areas there is less options for exercise. Especially for children because today alot of parents won't let them go far outside there homes due to fear of abuse. My Grandad (cool guy) always tells me storys about how he used to go out with his friends miles from his house when he was only 10, he always tells me back then his parents didn't even consider happening what parents do today.
  5. Jul 12, 2010 #4


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    So, when the probability of becoming unemployed goes up (or actual income goes down), people think "fitness expenditure is something I can do without," and stop exercising?

    Or, are you saying people lose the motivation for exercise when they become poorer or less secure?

    The researchers actually followed the behavior patterns of the same individuals over time, so "non causality" is hard to argue. "Can few outliers be affecting outcome?" is a good question.
  6. Jul 13, 2010 #5


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    Perhaps it's just better access to cheap food that isn't good for you. I have seen other articles like this in the past but this one is pretty current.

    "Despite being the least urbanized continent, Africa's population is becoming increasingly urban and its cities are growing at unprecedented rates. In spite of rampant poverty in urban areas, access to cheap foods with a high content of fat and sugar is commonplace."
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  7. Jul 17, 2010 #6
    I think this is probably the best explanation in general. When you feel successful and productive in your work, your energy level tends to be high. You are "on top of the world," and you feel like you could fly or move mountains, etc., so to speak. The reverse is also true, which could get to the point of clinical depression but need not go so far to make people feel generally heavy (in their movements) etc. Surely this results in getting less exercise and burning less calories generally, i.e. for other reasons as well.
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