Obesity in the United States has gotten so bad that even our homeless people who beg for spare change to buy food are gaining too much weight.
A recent study conducted in the city of Boston has found that 65.7 percent of the homeless population are now overweight and more than half of those homeless people are obese. That means nearly one million of America’s three million homeless people are obese or edging ever closer to obesity.
According to one researcher involved in the project:
“This study suggests that obesity may be the new malnutrition of the homeless in the United States.”
Out of 5,632 homeless people surveyed just 1.6% of them were underweight. As one co-author points out:
“I thought we’d see a lot more people who were malnourished.”
The fast food and processed food products homeless people eat are already bad for them and according to one nutritionist in an interview with Wired:
“People who are homeless are under a lot of stress.” and stress boosts cortisol levels, which leads to weight gain.
Yet stress and cortisol levels can not be the only factor since developing countries do not have the same problem with their homeless. The fact remains that in America it is cheap to buy unhealthy foods that are filling but not to purchase wholesome foods you should be eating.
The full research conducted by led by Harvard Medical School student Katherine Koh will be published in an upcoming Journal of Urban Health study.
Do you think the unhealthy foods available to homeless people are ultimately responsible for their obese size or do you think other factors are at play in the overall weight gain equation?