Why I Feel Middle Class Health Experts Are Snobbish & Patronising In Criticising Poor Disadvantaged Obese Children.

By Akon Margaret Kalu

I think the debate is still heating up with middle class health experts saying that poor people are eating unhealthy food leading to obesity in children. Yes we know. Why tell us what we already know?

Before we get to the heart of the debate we all know that people on low income are regulars at local fish and chips, pizza fast food, curry, Iya Festus mamaput, Lidl, AldI, Iceland et al. I don't think you will see many rich people in these places as you would in up market supermarkets like Waitrose, Whole food stores, Marks & Spencers, Harrods and Selfridges food halls where rich healthy food are sold, right? Where you shop says a lot about you.   

What did these health experts expect? Of course children from poor 'sink' council estates are unlikely to lead healthy lifestyle. Children whose parents are on low-paid jobs, work long hours shift work, don't have time to cook surely cannot afford to buy healthy nutrituous food.   

They rely on fish & chips and sugar-laden Chinese takeaway fast food outlets conveniently located close by where they live in run-down council estates aimed to target the right demographic market. These poor vulnerable people are easy target for cheap and affordable unhealthy food.

These food outlets compromise and reinforce unhealthy lifestyle in poor families. You see fish and chips shops situated next to school gates, 'happy hour' price slash at convenient time to entice kids after school spend their last pocket money. Then next to confectionery shop to buy sweet and chocolates, risk bad teeth and expanding waistline. Years of eating junk food is bound to wide the gap between the rich and the poor life expectancy, the most disadvantaged in our society.     

I can't help but think middle class health experts are living in a la la land made believe world. Tragically, these poor disadvantaged families have been hard hit savagely by poverty. Welfare support isn't going to improve their lot. I am not sure what could possibly be the solution right now however I would advocate for a socio-economic programme including a restructure of the welfare system, housing and education. It is undeniably complex to understand see how this proposal might work almost unsustainable.      

Obese children from poor disadvantaged home are trapped in cycle of poverty. They will never understand the mindset of snobbish middle class health experts telling them to eat 5-A-Day. Their parent don't understand the concept of 'eating healthy'. They worry about enough food they can grab for the day definitely not thinking about balancing 5 fruit-1-veg-a-day. They buy cheap crap food, eat cheap crap food. Period. 

They can count themselves lucky if they can afford 2-3 square meals a day, never mind 5-a-day-1-veg.That's why they rely on unhealthy food environment in inner cities around the globe. Junk food are cheap, sold in large portions, meals promotion buy-one-get-one-free could well be the reason why obese children are eating extra food portion a day.     

Upper middle class reform ideology for me is snobbish and patronising. Who wouldn't want to enjoy the benefit of healthy food, fine dining, get the best food money can buy, feed on caviar and champagne? They've suffered enough already so please give them a break!

Maybe a review of socio-economic policy aimed to reduce poverty, improve the lives of disadvanged kids hopefully could be a long term solution. 


Akon Margaret Kalu


Copyrights @2018 Akon Margaret Kalu




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