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WWL: Lean Times and Expanding Waistlines
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Is the recession making us fat?


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41:00 minutes (19.68 MB)
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Stressed, spelled backwards? That's right: desserts.  Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that a recent poll found that nearly half of those surveyed said they eat to cope with stress. Today, Where We Live, we’ll take a look at how obesity is linked with stress and economic insecurity, both plentiful during this recession. We’ve heard that the downturn has snatched jobs and houses—but could it be making us fatter, too?

Today we’ll be joined by researchers who are investigating the obesity epidemic. Elissa Epel joins us in advance of a talk today at Yale’s Rudd Center —“Stress and sugar: Why the candy Industry Thrives When the Economy Dives.”  We’ll also be joined by Katie Martin of UConn’s Center for Public Health and Health Policy and Maria Negron, of the Hartford Food System.

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Listener email from Leopold

1. During recession, people try to cut their spending wherever they can - and food is a large portion of most family budgets. Unfortunately, healthy fresh foods are generally much more expensive than processed foods. So, the availability of these inexpensive substitutes probably exacerbates our biological challenges in eating healthy.

2. Processed foods take advantage of "branding" and "labeling" techniques to exploit our emotions and manipulate us to these products. Fresh foods almost never have any branding or labeling and can't compete on this basis.