Starvation, sadly, regularly stalks the African continent. This religiously prophetic website, in its famine page, tracks those trends and provides truly horrible images, one of which I reproduce here (from Somalia):
In the great country of America, however, hunger has a different face:
I do not post the above picture to be mean to the voluminous ladies who appear in it. Indeed, it’s not my picture at all. Instead, it’s the picture used to illustrate an NPR story about the way in which rising food prices are affecting the poor: among other things, they’re not able to buy all the food they want:
The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it’s more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don’t buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.
I appreciate the story’s main point, which is that, for people who live their lives on the economic razor’s edge, inflation is devastating.
I also understand that the story is trying to show that, from an Atkins’ diet point of view, cheap hi-carb food is more likely to increase weight than more expensive low carb food, including meat. The ladies above clearly aren’t shopping at Whole Foods. It’s just as clear, though, that these gals didn’t suddenly gain weight when inflation began. Instead, it’s obvious that their weight problems pre-date the recent rise in prices, and that, even as they stock up on potatoes and noodles, they’re not buying much in the way of fruits and veggies. And perhaps, just perhaps, they’re eating too much. (Incidentally, you can still get a good value on meat at McDonalds, if you wish to offset your all carb diet, but I suspect McDs is a dirty word in NPR circles.)
Hat tip: Moonbattery (and Danny Lemieux)