Does Unemployment Cause Obesity?

Recent studies and surveys have shown a distinct relationship between unemployment and obesity, particularly for lower-skilled workers who struggle to find work — a search made more challenging by their weight.

In Hagerstown, where blue-collar jobs have gone overseas or to cheaper parts of the country, 8.4 percent are unemployed — well above Maryland’s 5.9 percent rate. Last month, Gallup identified the area as the third-heaviest place in the United States, with almost 37 percent of its residents obese. Local studies put the number even higher. (More)

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  1. Mariah P. says:

    Without even looking at statistics, I can tell you that this is probably correct. Obviously unemployment correlates with frugality and lower (no) income. As such, when it comes to eating, the food that tends to be cheaper is fast food, which typically is worse for the health than any other type of food options. Thus, if a person continues to eat this fast food, then it is likely that obesity will ensue!

  2. Sarah says:

    Sure thing Mariah! When I was making my statements, I was using this study ( from the National Institute of Health. But likewise, you even said that you didn’t have to look at statistics to back up your claim, but do you actually have proof that your correlation is correct?

  3. Anne says:

    Numerous studies have also shown that, at first glance, people tend to associate obesity with laziness, stupidity, and a host of other negative characteristics. So, it’s not very surprising that obese people would find it even harder to find work in our already terrible job market. First impressions really count. This isn’t fair, but it’s the truth.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    There are theories that eating (which is generally considered pleasurable) is a form of entertainment for those who cannot afford other forms of entertainment. There are also those who believe the poor tend to discount the ill-effects of poor lifestyle behaviors more than wealthier people. This could possibly help explain why obesity is more of a problem for the poor than higher-income groups.

    Of course, there are numerous other possible explanations.

  5. Nicolas says:

    Food with high calories do not usually cost less…So I do not know why people with lower income confront a more severe obesity problem..

  6. Bart I. says:

    I’ve always had the opposite experience during slack times. Having time to exercise versus being parked at a desk, and being able to prepare my own meals instead of going out for lunch (fast food restaurants are probably the most benign when it comes to eating out).

    And I don’t see a direct connection between poverty and fast food. Cooking at home is cheaper than going out. And if you do eat out, a 500 cal hamburger is preferable to a 1,500 cal meal at a sit-down restaurant.