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View Diary: No, food stamps don't cause obesity (206 comments)

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  •  Actually, if you substitute grains and legumes (4+ / 0-)

    for meat, it reduces cost a lot.

    Rice and beans are cheap and are, in some combination, eaten in many places.

    Meat is expensive.

    Now, even with rice and beans as the protein source, it might not be enough money to eat enough vegetables and fruit, but it would certainly help.

    •  Add onions and corn to the rice and beans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, plf515

      for a feast.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
      I'z awn teh Twitterz. You joinz meh der?
      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:15:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have to say it. I find these kinds of posts (5+ / 0-)

      disconcerting.

      SO many say "hey they can eat beans and rice". Even here.

      I think "do they not think that people on SNAP know that beans and rice and pasta and oatmeal are cheaper than meat?"

      Most people on SNAP, I am pretty sure (including myself) find themselves relying heavily on these cheap foods that are packed with carbohydrates Already. Also, add oatmeal and pasta to beans and rice to that list. We eat carbs and don't have enough vegetables and fruits as you mentioned. That is why we are fat.

       That makes rice and beans quite monotonous as well as not balanced. In those countries where legumes and rice play a big part, the cuisine has developed over centuries to be balanced but also tolerable.  They know how to use herbs (which they have access to) and spices to make such dishes interesting and tasty. And usually they have plenty of access to vegetables. Indian cuisine comes to mind, but few Americans of all incomes know how to cook this way  nor do many people on SNAP have the time or energy master Indian cuisine.

      Most Americans are used to eating meat and find the above diet monotonous and even a bit of a punishment or a sad reminder of their difficult situation. Being so poor as to be eligible for SNAP is wearing on the soul to many people. The average person is on SNAP for only 6 months. That means for some or even many on SNAP didn't always have to cut back on food variety and quality so drastically and once had higher incomes. (I think this may be the reason why some people on SNAP feel the need to have sugary drinks and snacks...because what else you can buy doesn't really  make you feel that happy and you need a treat)

      Cultures, especially traditional cultures, likely get way more exercise than the average American, or did when their carb-heavy diets were developed over the centuries. Their exercise is built into their day with walking (no car), house work (not labor saving devices), and/or manual labor.

      I have gained weight myself on this "poverty diet plan" despite being as disciplined as possible. The only way I've ever lost weight and maintained is on a modified diabetic diet (low glycemic carbs, lots of fruit and vegetables, lean meats). I just cannot do it on this income, with SNAP. And I have an education, a healthcare background including nutrition classes, unlike some on SNAP (and I still can't do it)

       People on SNAP are often struggling to make ends meet and are stressed out from doing low income jobs which often are physical (and low prestige and low autonomy), from money issues which makes everything harder, perhaps by health problems they can't afford to address. Being human after along day they may not feel like exercising. Many low income jobs are physically exhausting but not necessarily strenuous.

      When you are under stress and difficulty and tired it is much harder to exercise. You can't afford a gym or a trainer-things that are motivating. You may have kids to watch and can't afford a babysitter. Your home may be small and too cramped to do much. You can't afford an eliptical or treadmill or indoor bike. Maybe your are disabled or elderly and can't exercise much or being human, are not able to have time to exercise, or the motivation, or the knowledge. It has been shown that the poor use up so much emotional and intellectual "energy" (I can't recall how the put it) just to get through their day to make ends meet, that they don't have much left to get ahead and do these things that reap future rewards.

      There are many reasons why "they can just eat beans and rice" is not the answer. And it isn't even balanced without good access to fruit and vegetables,anyway.

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