It’s easy to look at the impoverished peoples of any developed nation and think to yourself “boy, they sure have it easy.” When you compare our poor to the poor people living in the rest of the world, it’s seems obvious that our people are better off.
Oftentimes they can be seen with cell phones, cars, running water, a reliable source of electricity, heating and cooling, etc. It takes up a much higher percentage of their budget, but many of those people living below the poverty line in the United States still have a higher standard of living than those living in the rest of the world. And when you compare our poor to those who lived in previous eras, the divide is even wider. However, you shouldn’t be fooled by these comparisons.
The most common thing you’ll hear someone say is “in America, even our poor people are fat” which is usually followed by a good laugh. But it’s not laughing matter. When you see an obese man or woman drive up to the counter at McDonald’s on their rascal, you’re not looking at someone who is overfed. On the contrary, that person is quite literally starving to death. They may be getting plenty of calories, but in every other regard their body is falling apart due to a lack of nutrition; and it’s this, not obesity by itself, that may be one of the greatest challenges of our time.
A team of researchers in Britain has recently found that much of the world is facing a rather strange crisis. People who are obese and people who are underweight now exist in side by side in many countries, both of which are indicators of malnutrition. Much like the developed world, it has a lot more to do with what they’re eating than what they’re not eating.