View on obesity simplistic, harmful

A letter writer takes issue with a columnists stance on poverty and unhealthy weight.

There are many issues in Mr. Fletcher’s column (The Leader, June 26) I take issue with but I will focus on the most egregious.

He believes that education and self-discipline, along with some basic cooking skills and effort, will alleviate obesity among the poor.

It’s absurd.

The real culprit is stress. Mr. Fletcher, whom I assume makes a very decent salary, has likely never experienced the intense pressure to provide housing, food and clothing for his children. The basics. No luxuries.

It is deflating, demoralizing and, more often than not, consumes what energy may be left. Fast food, in essence, becomes comfort food. To assume it is nothing more than laziness or lack of education, is simplistic at best and extremely harmful at its worst.

The psychological issues surrounding poverty cannot be ignored or dismissed and by attempting to do so, Mr. Fletcher has added absolutely nothing to the conversation.

Decent living wages is the way out, but Mr. Fletcher intimates that doing so would only move the goal posts and therefore those that are in or facing poverty should just accept it lest they force others into the same situation.

Obesity does not equate to being poor. It spans all classes and requires much more critical thinking than Mr. Fletcher is able to provide.


Janice Crawford, Surrey

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