RSS
  • Tightened Belts, Expanded Waistlines    May 12 
Unemployment and weight gain piling up into vicious cycle
JEFF J. MITCHELL/Getty Images
JEFF J. MITCHELL/Getty Images

The Washington Post reports on one aspect of the sagging economy that has not received very much attention: High obesity rates in those areas with greater unemployment.

David Farrell, a 52-year-old Hagerstown [Maryland] resident who had lost his job in retail, saw his weight increase more than 50 pounds recently during a year spent without a job.

"When you're defeated, you get depressed," he said. "When you get depressed, most people have a vice. They either smoke or they eat, whatever." He ate.

"Anything," he said. "Junk food. It didn't matter." [The Washington Post]

For lower-skilled workers, unemployment can result in both lower consumption of nutritious foods, and also in less time spent on physically demanding activities. And the problem gets worse from there — as obese job-seekers face extra difficulties in finding new employment, ranging from stigmatization to failure to meet physical requirements.

- - Eric Kleefeld
 
 
Load More Articles

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week