The U.S. has the most affordable food on earth. Pakistani families spend the most on food: 46% of their disposable income goes to meals. US families spend 7%. And compared to previous years, today’s Americans have the most affordable food in U.S. history (Perry, 2011).
While US families are supplied with inexpensive food its low cost can be partly contributed to migrant farm labor who harvests our food for low wages, under poor and sometimes dangerous working conditions (think: pesticides and herbicides sprayed on plants and trees), and unhealthy living situations in labor camps.
Over this backdrop, US childhood obesity increases. Indiana ranks 21st in overall prevalence with 30% of children considered either overweight or obese.
According to the 2008 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS), 31% of low-income Hoosier children age 2-5 are overweight or obese. [See: www.childhealthdata.org/docs/nsch-docs/indiana-pdf.pdf]
These facts beg the questions: does the inexpensiveness of food enable obesity? Is there irony and contradiction in the high “price” migrant workers “pay” so the cost of food is low–while others overeat, or eat poorly and/or suffer from malnutrition?
Perry, M. (2011). As a Share of Income, Americans Have the Most Affordable Food in
World & It’s Never Been Better. Carpe Diem: Professor Mark J. Perry’s Blog for
Economics and Finance. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/02/americans-still-have-cheapest-food-in.html