Food for Thought: What does 200 calories look like?

September 24, 2010

Perhaps the more pertinent question is how much does 200 calories cost? A friend sent me this article today which shows a chart of foods ranging in cost from less than $.50 to more than $1.00, per 200 calorie serving. From the chart you can see that the cheaper foods (costing around $.50 per serving) category generally consists of potato chips, milk, donuts, soda, candy, white bread, and crackers. The higher priced foods category is comprised of fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, and meat. This probably isn’t a shock to any of you. And I think it does a good job illustrating the points I’ve made in previous posts about how the cheapest, most accessible foods are often the least healthy.

When you think of this in context of being poor in America, it essentially means that the less money you have to spend on food, the less freedom you have to choose what you eat. Some argue that this is an assault on body sovereignty because the poorest are not free to make the best decisions for their health, life, and family. I have to admit I hadn’t thought of it in precisely those terms before, but it really does make sense. As a collective, we should ask ourselves (and our representatives) why the least healthy foods (the foods that drive up rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension) continue to be the cheapest, most accessible, and most heavily subsidized by our government. We should also ask how this affects the poorest in our nation and how can such disasterous effects (like an assault on body sovereignty or weakened national security due to skyrocketing obesity rates) be justified?

For more information on this topic read on at Happy bodies. The author makes some brilliant points about class, race, and food. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

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Jennifer September 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Gidget- Hadn’t heard that but I LOVE the idea! We need to do that here in DC!

Katrina (gluten free gidget) September 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Have you heard that in CA, if you shop for fruit and veggies with food stamps at a farmer’s market you get double food stamp points? I think it should be that way everywhere.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic September 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Hi Jennifer, thanks for dropping by my blog – can’t wait to read more of yours. This is such an interesting article. 200 calories really may seem like a lot of food or too little. I think it’s a good calorie count for a snack :) Anyway yes, I did hear about Top Chef! Not sure yet who I’ll be rooting for though – maybe Angelo hehe

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