If you follow up on the BBC link, you can also see that the wealthier countries seem to be, the fatter they are. Also the more educated an individual seems to be, the less likely they are to be overweight. For your health, therefore, doesn't it seem to follow that you would be ever so much better off of be poor and well educated?
Or might it be possible that this is another ridiculous and prejudicial line of reasoning that's being trotted out to suggest that there's some sort of inherent inferiority in the poor that makes the way they're treated by the rich and powerful somehow justifiable on some sort of scientific grounds, since such treatment it seems to have failed for the most part to have found any justification on ethical or religious grounds? The poor are fat, therefore we can treat those disgusting pigs any way we want.
Hmmm, Protein is more expensive than carbohydrate and many of the processed sugars and fats. A lot of the advertising dollars are spent on urging people with limited funds to spend those funds on fast foods, whose calories come from carbs, sugars and fats, and whose nutrition is not balanced. Many of the poor, far from having the wicked modern fast and racy cars that some [Edited - Ron] believed can be so easily afforded on poverty level support, have trouble getting around on public transport, and must lug large amounts of groceries over sometimes hefty distances to get them home. These housing developments are not always located conveniently on public transit lines, a fact which has been pointed out on occasion on UK television on occasion. The reality of this has seemed to avoid US television but is obviously a factor here as well.
Having a car, it may be a pain to get fifty pounds of nutritionally balanced groceries home from a store a mile or two away, but not a huge pain. I can even stop at two or three if I plan. When I lived in Somerville, Massachusetts, with no car, and had to walk a mile to get to a bus stop, things were very different indeed. [Edited - Ron]
Some folks occupy such places by choice, and some occupy them by necessity of one sort or another.
In psychology there is a concept called "locus of control." It is a measure of where a person conceptualizes control of their life lies. Psychology does not, by the way, suggest there is a right answer to this question, though it might say there is a place where most people might say control lies, that doesn't really offer any real answer, does it? It's a matter of opinion, a sort of average of those people you've been asking, and the actual relationship of that answer to reality is problematic. The right wing answer is frequently, though not always, to suggest that the Locus of control lies inside a person; and if a person is poor, it is because of something they are doing or not doing; and if they are rich it is for the same reason.
I suggest that this may be part of the discussion we are having now.
It would be foolish for me to say that what a person does or does not do cannot affect who he or she is and what he or she may become. It may even be a major factor. If I am not for myself, who am I for?
Yet, when I look at Maimonides, one of the great religious scholars, and look at what he says about the duties of being a Jew, he says a very odd thing. I admit, I may be misreading or misunderstanding him, because I make no claims at being a religious scholar myself, but I would have expected the man to say something about idols and staying true to the one God. Whether you believe in God or not, that has something of interest to it; instead he says the first duty is the ransom of captives.
In modern Israel, they would simply look puzzled, and I suspect there might be some sharp discussions back and forth about this. But if you peel back the thinking a couple of layers, in a way that I would do but perhaps Maimonides would not, but perhaps he would, we are talking about what it is that we owe each other in this world and what sorts of captivity we each may suffer under. We owe it to the rich and poor alike.
[This message has been edited by Ron (11-28-2011 12:44 AM).]