Dating out of your social class
Over coffee, I cautiously raise a subject that has concerned me of late: less than five miles away, some children don’t have enough to eat; others exist almost exclusively on junk food.Alexandra concedes that her approach is probably out of reach for those people.
In Park Slope, the contents of a child’s lunchbox can be fodder for a 20-minute conversation.
While obesity is a complex problem—genetics, environment, and activity level all play a role—a 2008 study by the USDA found that children and women on food stamps were likelier to be overweight than those who were not.
According to studies led by British epidemiologist Kate Pickett, obesity rates are highest in developed countries with the greatest income disparities.
In a paper published last spring, Drewnowski showed how the prices of specific foods changed between 20 based on data from Seattle-area supermarkets.
While food prices overall rose about 25 percent, the most nutritious foods (red peppers, raw oysters, spinach, mustard greens, romaine lettuce) rose 29 percent, while the least nutritious foods (white sugar, hard candy, jelly beans, and cola) rose just 16 percent.“In America,” Drewnowski wrote in an e-mail, “food has become the premier marker of social distinctions, that is to say—social class.
He argues that the most nutritious diet—lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, and grains—is beyond the reach of the poorest Americans, and it is economic elitism for nutritionists to uphold it as an ideal without broadly addressing issues of affordability.