Tightened Belts, Expanded Waistlines
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.