The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Starving Obese

Megan McArdle notes a small inconsistency:

This article in Reuters, provocatively titled "In U.S., So Many Obese, So Many Hungry" says that "In a nation where obesity is the second-leading cause of death, 33 million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from -- a year-round paradox that only becomes more pronounced during the holidays."

This number makes no sense.

It makes no sense because 33 million people is more than 10% of the US population. Yet only 12.5% of the US population is below the poverty line, even with the recession-driven spike of recent years.

It especially makes no sense because those living below the poverty line have much higher incidence of obesity than those living above it. Either the remaining 2.4% of the population that is poor but isn't "food insecure" (the USDA figure they're using) is really whomping the hell out of those averages, or a lot of people who don't know where their next meal is coming from are managing to run into it anyway.

Read the whole thing.


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