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I’m taking your quote a little out of context from your point but it’s actually quite relevant to the context of healthy eating and lifestyle choices. In that so many folk don’t actually start to give much thought to either of the two until the results of not doing so start to show. Much the same with dental caries and periodontal disease, come to that.

Whenever the subjects have cropped up in casual and not-so-casual conversation, I’ve oftentimes asked what folk have done/were doing on their way to fatness…or cavities etc. Very rarely have folk answered with an outline of thought and actions (even if misguided) designed at prevention. In fact, I do recall in Denny’s early days on the H&N a few years back asking a similar question along the lines of “did you get fat in spite of efforts at weight management?”. Response was that no, he was focusing on other things at the time

I suspect that this honest response is true for a good many folk in that avoiding obesity in an obesogenic society requires thought as well as actions…and this crosses socio-economic groups.

P.S…Peter…have you discovered air fryers yet? Wonderful for quick preparation of tasty, nutritious meals for one or two.

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When I lived in Mallorca, Spain I discovered the glories of primarily eating “pa amb oli” (pronounced “pamboli”), that is to say “bread with olive oil”, a marvelous understatement. You toast a thick slice of the local dense dark whole grain bread, pour on a nice dosing of the local olive oil, add a thin bit of ham and/or cheese, and lots of fresh and/or pickled veg. YUM!!! and it is all ready in five effortless minutes, and is superbly nutritious and healthful.

Here in Mexico my main food is “arroz y frijoles” (beans and rice) that I cook up in constantly varying (12 types of beans in most stores and I use “integral” rice) big batches each week and keep ready in the frig along with a pack of local handmade corn tortillas, assembled to eat with a bit of cheese, fresh veg, and rich delicious chili sauces that are made with lots of cooked veg (onion, garlic, tomato, sweet peppers, cilantro, parsley…) and a dollop or so of some intensely flavored chili stewed chicken or pork. Also ready in five minutes or so.

Almost everywhere mixed salad greens come pre washed and mixed in bags. Great soups that are easily livened up and enriched come in cans, or can also be made in heroic batches and frozen.

Eat what the not-wealthy locals have been eating for centuries and you usually have great cheap nutrition in very little time with little effort.

What is required is intentionality and a sense of self-worth and pugnacity.

david fb


It doesn’t always take a lot of time. There are plenty of simple meals that take minimal prep and cook time. Not only that, but there are some very inexpensive devices that can help you cook great meals in almost no time. The easiest one is a crockpot, you put stuff in it in the morning; Literally dump some supermarket cubed meat still frozen if you want, a few potatoes, a few carrots, some celery, whatever and a can of tomato sauce or other sauce, sprinkle some spices and put it on low. When you come home you have a good stew ready to eat. Takes no more than 5 minutes including rinsing the veggies.And the best thing? It’ll cost 10 or 15 bucks to feed you and your kids instead of 50 or 70 bucks at the fast food place.


Just had a one dish veggie lunch.

Heat lard in a big pot, add
Chopped white onion, stir
Chopped garlic, stir
wait a while, add
Passata (puréed, strained uncooked tomatoes)
Bring to boil, add
Chicken broth cube
Chopped celery
Chopped carrots
Chopped green onions
Chopped mushrooms
Chopped cauliflower
Farfalle ( butterflies) or other pasta corta to your liking
Season to taste (turmeric, oregano)
Cook about 15 minutes
Chopped parsley
Chopped cilantro

Dessert, goat cheese


Le Chef


The real root of the problem is the Grandmother Food Pushers.

“Oh, have a cookie, a little sugar is good for you”



Off topic - Air fryer? Yech! Fat is flavor. The trick is to use the smallest amount of fat necessary to get the desired flavor.

Back on topic -

Gotta love the rich folks’ solutions to poor people’s problems. Buy an [insert device here]. Buy it with what? There’s no money in the budget for kitchen gadgets. Buy and cook a week’s worth of food at once? Again, with what? If I buy two days of food, the kids will eat it all in one day because they’re constantly hungry and slightly underfed. Then there’s no food for tomorrow and no money to buy more.

And we haven’t even got to the actual cooking skills. These are often people whose parents didn’t cook, so they didn’t learn even the basics of cooking skills as a child. Now that they have children of their own, they still don’t know how to do basic things like clean or trim vegetables. Yes, things as simple as basic cooking skills are quickly lost over just a couple of generations. And yes, those skills can be learned - but that gets back to the time thing. When exactly are they going to find the time to learn? Between jobs? While breaking up the kids fighting? By playing cooking videos while they sleep for the subliminal learning? Plus there’s the food waste while learning to cook. Not everything is going to go well the first time around, and sometimes large parts of meals are rendered inedible by novice cooking errors.

Helping people out of poverty and obesity takes a lot more work that pointing folks at better food choices and walking away. It takes long-term hands-on dedication to helping people learn the necessary skills and doing some things for them to free up the time for that learning.

Those who are regularly mentoring children and young adults - particularly those with significantly less than ideal home lives - are doing the hard work that will lead to breaking the cycles of poverty and obesity.



Crockpot is 20 bucks. You will save that much and more THE FIRST TIME you use it instead of a fast food takeout dinner! And I’ve seen it on sale for 10 bucks with a rebate at Kohls.

Well I guess fat has a flavor and is worth consuming if that particular flavor is important to you…and folk tend to say the same about sugar, salt and a good many of the other additives you’re likely to find in ultra processed food …but for me fat isn’t particularly appetizing whether it’s in my food or wrapped around my arse.

It’s an interesting thing when addressing behavior changes to habits that don’t serve folk well…initial response is oftentimes along the lines of “I can’t do that because…” add any of a number of reasons that are fundamental barriers to success.

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And if only have $20 to spend that week; do you buy the crockpot or the food? Well-off people seem to have no idea what life can really be like at the bottom end of the scale!



I grew up poor. I would often take a plain can of the crappy cheap “cat food” tuna (5 for $1 on sale) and that was lunch for me. For many years. But that isn’t the point. If you follow the conversation thread, it was said that poor people eat crappy food (fast food, prepared food, packaged junk) because they have no time to prepare healthier meals, so I mentioned a crockpot AND made sure to mention that not only is it healthier, but it also saves money AND it saves time. Furthermore, it saves money THE FIRST TIME it is used, because the alternative is often fast food, which for a family of 4 or 5 is easily $50 or $70. Meanwhile crappy supermarket frozen cubed beef is $7-10, 5 potatoes is $1.50, bag of carrots is $1.50, can of sauce is $0.99. Then just dump all those into the crockpot in the morning, no need to peel anything, just rinse them off, takes literally under 5 minutes. Turn the thing on and go to work. Ask me how I know it works? (it also happens to be delicious, low and slow almost always makes food with meats taste better and more tender.)


Have you ever lived in a VW bug for 6 months and rooted around a park to find coconuts to open with a hammer? Did you know it gets cold at night in Florida; I did not know that.

I’ve followed the thread; did you google “food deserts” as I suggested earlier?

A few (maybe more than a few) years ago a woman wrote about her experience of trying to live/survive at the bottom end of the scale. In about an hour my memory neurons will kick in and I’ll have an ‘aha’ moment; but then I’ll forget why I remembered it. Perhaps someone else has that information available.


Ahh - my google skills worked - it was “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich. Excellent view of the real difficulties of living poor in the US.

But in todays society and in America in general; it is the fault of the poor for being poor. What else could it be? If they just did things my way they would be okay! To be frank (and my middle name is Francis) the average IQ is 100 - I’m above that number by a bit and I sometimes wonder how I managed to get along in todays society. What is happening to the other half of the population and how are they managing? What are we going to do in the years to come when even more low skill jobs are gone?



Indeed…but well off people can also be fat and lacking in the skill set and knowledge base to make inroads on that fatness. A discussion of gadgetry and purchasing/cooking habits that might assist in changing that situation isn’t totally unreasonable given the venue and doesn’t ignore the plight of the poor any more than discussions on, say, electric vehicles, surely.

If the emphasis were on ‘little’ it would be OK but it’s on ‘good for you.’

That’s how speech tricks you! Advertisers know it. "Eat a cookie and sleep with the most gorgeous (pick your preferred gender).

The Captain

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Not really. It was more of a drop in, look around and move on kind of an experience. She only stayed one month in each of the three places, built up no experience, had no community. She never even used a thrift shop or bought groceries at a store.


My dad never would have prescribed anything for grief.

Back in the 50s and 60s into the 70s valium was the most abused drug because women who lost their spouse were treated with it for grief.

In real life events can not be treated with medications. Medication is for a chemical imbalance.

The doctors can not be trusted with this.

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Poverty and food deserts are terrible things and should be discussed BUT these are not root causes of the American obesity epidemic, at least among men.

From the CDC:

  • Among men, obesity prevalence is generally similar at all income levels, however, among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men those with higher income are more likely to be obese than those with low income.
  • Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low income women, but most obese women are not low income.
  • There is no significant trend between obesity and education among men. Among women, however, there is a trend, those with college degrees are less likely to be obese compared with less educated women.
  • Between 1988–1994 and 2007–2008 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels.

In addition, while many studies can find a correlation between lower income and higher rates of obesity, the arrow of causality is uncertain. There seems to be at least as much evidence that obesity causes poverty than the reverse.

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I’m all for compassion, but not if it works against the best interests of the person you are feeling compassion for. Finding excuses for why people won’t eat healthy is essentially finding excuses for them to get diabetes and other chronic diseases. Sounds like enabling.

Eating healthy does not take more time. Afterall, most fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw, very little time involved in preparation. What does take time is if one insists that healthy foods must taste like unhealthy foods. That requires a lot of prep and cooking skill.

We Americans have acquired a taste for high salt and fatty foods. We love anything deep fried. It is very difficult to consistently eat healthy if that remains the mind set. A carrot will never taste like a french fry unless it is processed so much that it loses most of its health benefits.

We often make the mistake of thinking about diets as all or nothing. We sacrifice the good in striving for the perfect. Cracking open a head of lettuce and adding balsamic vinegar dressing is cheap and fast. Do this before dinner and one might eat less of the less healthy stuff. I’ve said it before but believe it to be true, substituting water for soda saves money and will make a big dent in the obesity problem. Small stuff can eventually make a big difference.

One study estimated that in 2021 on a per capita basis Americans consumed 37.1 gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages. That is an enormous number of easily avoidable calories. What is the excuse not to drink water, other than will power?
Large State Variation in Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Purchases: What We Learn from the Beverage Industry Data - PMC.


Stats are no way to go through life. They are no way to figure it all out.

I recognize the difference between grief and depression. My mother died in 2001. I honored my grieving process. It wasn’t until 2003 that I realized the grief had gone on too long and transformed into depression. I took Wellbutrin temporarily (a few months), until I felt more like myself again. After a while, I realized that the Wellbutrin was transforming my normally somber personality into a happy-happy mood so I stopped taking it. I didn’t want to be “happy,” I just wanted to be me without the depression.