Recession May Be Affecting Our Waist Lines as well as Our Wallets

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Recession May Be Affecting Our Waist Lines as well as Our Wallets

The global economic crisis is hitting everybody’s wallet these days. But, at least one researcher warns that it could be hitting us at the waistline, as well.

Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington in Seattle, fears that widespread financial hardship may lead Americans to cut their food budgets, eliminating more expensive fresh foods  and substituting cheaper “survival foods” – foods that tend to be less expensive but higher in fat, salt, and calories. The result could be poverty-related weight gain – what some are calling “recession pounds.”

In his research, Dr. Drewnowski found that people with higher incomes tend to have body weights closer to the healthy norm, while those with lower incomes have a much higher rate of obesity.

But, just because you’re feeling the pinch in your pocketbook doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds.
Robert Keith, a professor of nutrition and food science at Auburn University, says you can still be health-conscious at the supermarket, even while shopping on a shoestring. He points out that vegetables, like kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts are relatively inexpensive and are readily available throughout the year. Also, produce like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, beets and collard greens don’t cost much and are packed with vitamins, and a can of sardines can be a cheap source of protein.

Of course, it’s bad to eat too much of anything – even kale. But, when hardship hits, a bunch of beets is a better bet than a shopping cart filled with traditional cheap eats, like Hamburger Helper, Pop-Tarts and Spam. So, shop wisely, friends!

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