Financial Problems Make Weight-Loss Extremely Challenging

First Posted: Aug 20, 2014 07:27 AM EDT

People living below the poverty line find it extremely difficult to shed excess body weight as they cannot afford diet programs, special meals or gym memberships.  

The study led by researchers at the Concordia University claim that most of the weight-loss advertising normally cater to those who are willing to pay for various weight-loss programs. But, it is the poor who are more likely to be overweight or obese.

In this study, the researchers found that the poor are less likely to fight overweight/obesity through exercise, intake of water or reduction in intake of sweets, when compared to those coming within the higher income category.

"The message of how to lose weight according to national guidelines may not resonate with those who struggle to pay their bills," said Lisa Kakinami, a researcher with the Concordia University's PERFORM Centre and the lead author of the study.

Rather than adhering to a healthier diet or indulge in vigorous exercise routine, the lower income individuals prefer taking a weight loss pill which, in the long run, may be counterproductive.

"Certain methods can be pursued no matter where you are, but the inclination to reduce fat or sweets, exercise or drink more water was lesser in lower-income households compared to the highest-income households," said Kakinami, who is also a professor in Concordia's Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

It was witnessed that the techniques used by younger Americans residing in poorer households were inconsistent with the national guidelines. They were more vulnerable to skipping meals.  The finding is based on the evaluation of the data retrieved from 8,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study.

These instant weight-loss methods used by the people do not help lower the obesity trend. 

"Perhaps all the studies that have been done about weight are becoming muddled in people's minds," she said. "Maybe it's time to take a step back and evaluate what people know and understand about obesity and weight-loss."

The finding was documented in the American journal of Preventive Medicine.

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