Are the Rich More Healthy?

by Jon Benson on June 29, 2009 · 2 comments

By Jon Benson


“The poor man must walk to get meat for his stomach, the rich man to get a stomach to his meat.”


 – Benjamin Franklin


Poverty and Obesity:  New Study Finds Remarkable Connection


While the rich and the affluent still face many of the problems that come with the “king’s lifestyle”, a new pattern is emerging in the United States and, predictions state, Europe.


A new study shows that the trend of ill-health and obesity is shifting rapidly to the poor and less educated portions of the country.


The reason this is important to us all, other than a concern for our nation’s health as a whole, is the economic strain this will place on our already burdened health care system.


By the year 2012, if this trend increases, the middle and upper classes will be looking at massive increases in taxes to fund proposed government plans to address the problem.


This is a problem that flat-out does NOT need to exist. Everyone who can afford food at ‘all’ can easily eat healthy and exercise.


Part of the confusion is due to the fact that the billion dollar fitness industry has created a myth — that expensive food supplements and organic foods are mandatory for good health.


While I believe in both, neither are mandatory.


It’s the TYPE of food, and the COMBINATION of the foods that make all the difference — that, and moderate calories, exercise, and proper mental disposition.


In regards to the study, Dr. Janet Collins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had this to say —


“Populations are no longer equal in terms of experiencing health problems. Low-income populations tend to experience all the health problems we worry about at greater rates.”



The five states with the highest obesity rates in the 2005 consensus include Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana and Kentucky. These same five states have higher rates of poverty than the national norm.


Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest obesity have less poverty. They are Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.


Each of these states also has more college graduates and stronger education programs. Education in health and fitness does not need to be expensive, and it certainly does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out.


However, fitness professionals and nutrition ‘gurus’ lend that impression.


If you visit a gym today, especially in a larger city, you’ll see a myriad of devices that, frankly, would give you a better workout if you tried to pick them up and move them out to the garbage dump.


It can be daunting and confusing for anyone! But, this doesn’t have to be the case.


The same goes for nutrition. While a few people require “high-tech”, expensive foods (for medical reasons usually), the vast majority of us can easily get the job done at the local grocery store.


The best way to inspire change is to create change in yourself. Start there, set the example, and the word will spread.


Anyone can be fit and healthy, and they can do it at ANY age, and at ANY income level above absolute poverty.


About the Author:  Jon Benson is an internationally recognized transformation lifecoach, as well as an authority on fat-burning nutrition and superior physical fitness.  He is the creator and co-author of Fit Over 40 (the #2 selling fitness e-book in the world), and the author of Simply Eat (his publisher’s fastest selling book ever) and 7 Minute Muscle which details his trademarked Power Density Training System.


[Editor’s Comments:  I couldn’t agree more with Jon. I firmly believe that good health and fitness can be attained by anyone with a little effort and some common sense.


To learn some of the most effective “common sense” strategies to nutrition and fitness, I recommend you click the link below to check out Jon’s website. He’s definitely one of the best. 


Click here =>> Fit Over 40


After reading Jon’s article, I did a little research on my own and I found some startling facts:


  1. Statistics show that 66% of adult Americans are overweight or obese.  (Geyman, L. 2005, 20:32)
  2. In a 2007 survey of states with the highest levels of adult obesity (conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Ohio (where I live) tied for 13th with 27.5% considered obese. 
  3. Those people most in need of help tend to have higher obesity rates:

– Rural Residents – possibly because of heavy “traditional” diets high in fat, carbohydrates and fried foods.


– Minorities – study found about 36% of black survey participants were obese, while the rates decreased to 28.5% of Hispanics and 24.5% of whites. 


– Below Average Incomes – those with financial struggles typically buy the cheapest foods, which tend to be “calorie-heavy.”


According to Adam Drewnowski, director of the Nutrition Sciences Program at the University of Washington, “People are going to economize, and as they save money on food, they will be eating more empty calories or foods high in sugar, saturated fats and refined grains, which are cheaper.”


The stock price comparison above (McDonald’s Corp. vs. Whole Foods Market Inc.) illustrates Drewnowski’s point that when times get tough, Americans tend to abandon expensive diet programs and reduce their purchases of healthier foods.

 So what are your thoughts about the trends identified by the statistics? Do you agree or disagree? Leave us a Comment and let us know.]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michele June 30, 2009 at 9:53 am

This is a great article and I completely agree that people do abandon their healthy diets to eat cheaply. But you can eat cheaply and healthy you just need to find the right place. If you think about it a value meal at McDonalds is no less than $5 and you are left feeling hungry and tired an hour later.

My usual lunch under $5 and healthy:

I can go to a local market (i.e. Randazzo) and get a hearty salad for 2-3 dollars (you pay by the pound). They have a salad buffet that has many healthy selections and you make your own. They even have meats to add for protein if you would like. I sometimes will supplement with a small roll that you can pay for individually, under $1, if that. I then bring my own water bottle, yes out of the tap, NOT bottled. The tap water is safe and the least expensive drink around. And there it is cheap and healthy. I feel fuller longer and less tired when I eat a hearty salad than when I eat a meal for McDonalds. It is in fact CHEAPER!

2 Mel July 6, 2009 at 11:45 am

I don’t completely agree with this and think that the rich are healthier. When you go grocery shopping and are counting every penny you will buy the cheapest. Go clip some coupons and see what they offer(processed foods). You will never find coupons for fruit, vegetables, and most meats. It’s just the bad stuff and at 50 cents to $1.00 off and if it’s double coupon day, forget it, that is what is going to go first because it’s cheap.

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