Anyone who's lost a job would be expected to be depressed, and no one would fault them for turning to comfort foods in search of consolation. Such behavior would lead to the pounds packing on. If there's a rise in obesity rates due to the recession, it's understandable.
The under-employed are adding to the fat tally as well. With budgets stretched to the limit, cheap food is replacing more expensive healthy eating. Instead of lean chicken, it's Kraft macaroni and cheese from a box.
Those with jobs are working more hours as their employers calculate that overtime is cheaper than hiring another worker. This leads to less free time for the worker, less time to shop and prepare balanced meals. Think a quick drive through McDonald's for a Big Mac instead of broiled salmon with a tossed salad.
The recession is making everyone fat, according to Harry Balzer, author of Eating Patterns in America.
Before anyone suggests exercise as a way to combat recession-induced obesity, they should consider the high cost.
For one woman, that cost is somewhere near $100,000.
In an effort to stave off waistline expansion, she went to the East Bank Club in Chicago and stowed her rings in her locker. After fighting against obesity with a brisk work-out, she came back to her locker and found that the lock had been cut off and her rings stolen.
She would have been $100,000 to the better if she'd just accepted the fact that obesity is up 1% and once the economy turns around, we'll all get thinner. Now she's filed a police report about the robbery, but her jewels are gone.
Not only is the recession making us fat, but combatting the fat is making us poorer, so it's looking like a continuous loop spinning around fat asses nationwide.