America: Home of the Fat and Poor
Everyone knows Americans are fat and in debt. What many do not know is how closely the two traits have risen in tandem.
Of course, correlation is not causation. Even though they follow a very similar pattern, being in debt doesn't cause people to get fat or vice versa.
However, there can be little doubt that similar underlying factors are at work here.
Labor intensive jobs, such as farming and manufacturing, are way down since 1962.
Farming and food production takes far less manpower and the amount of money we spend on average for food has dropped with it. Since 1947, food and drink costs are down 17.9% while health care costs are up 13%.
The Center of Disease Control estimates the drag on the economy from obesity at $147 billion per year. That figure doesn't even account for related health care costs that are building by the day and pushing Americans deep in debt.
Alcohol sales grew every year through the recession and a little over 14% of the population is unemployed, underemployed or not even looking for work. The ratio of workers on disability to active workers is now up to 6%.
Consider all of these factors -- plus plenty of others not mentioned -- together and you can see how it adds up. Americans making less money, sitting around more, burning less calories, drowning their woes with beer and eating unhealthy, calorie-rich fast food because it is dirt cheap.
After a couple decades, it is starting to show, not only on our waistlines, but in a correlated chart.
Chart courtesy of Azizonomics.+8
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