Is a thinner wallet making you fatter?

On the Today Show a couple days ago one of the on air nutritionist’s did a piece on the economy and how it has or will affect our waist lines and it got me thinking. I brought it up with co-workers the next day and one said “I guess everyone will get thinner because they have to buy less food.” That’s one theory, however I tend to agree more with the Today Show nutritionist who said that people are just going to buy cheaper food such as fast food, and food they can stretch which is mostly non-nutritious carbs. You can feed a lot more people for a lot less money if you give them Kraft Mac-n-Cheese instead of grilled chicken and veggies. In fact will most businesses reporting loss after loss, the fast food industry is seeing growth. In McDonald’s case it was reported they grew 11% last quarter. People are even more attracted than ever to that dollar menu. When you are worried about feeding your kids, I doubt you think too much about the nutritional facts.

Also, I thought about how stressed everyone is about the economy. Not only do they want cheaper food, but maybe comforting food. I for one know when I am down and out I have definitely turned to a bowl of ice cream or piece of pizza for comfort. Hey, if you don’t drink, grab a couple hamburgers to numb the pain.

I can honestly I am still spending a lot of food. I am buying mostly organic which has upped my bill. I am buying lots of fresh berries, veggies, eggs, cheese, raw milk, chicken, fish, and lean steak. I used to use rice, pasta, or bread as fillers in my meals to make them cheaper, but now I fill up on the most expensive ingredients organic lean protein and veggies. We have had to slash our budget because of the economy but high quality food could not be one of the line items slashed. Instead we choose to use less money on entertainment & eating out. My health is just too important to me now and I blessed to still be able to afford the food I should be eating.

What is happening in your household? Have your grocery shopping habits changed? Do you think you will have to change them in the near future if things don’t turn around?


  1. I think you are completely right that tougher economy will send people straight to the dollar menu and gym memberships will be one of the first items for people to cut. Currently there are a lot more obese people among the lower class so it is pretty clear that poverty correlates with more weight.

    My grocery bill has definitely gone up but my eating-out bill has gone down a lot. I used to complain about how South beach bars are almost a dollar each and only have 140 cal but now I just buy them anyway. At the same time I have stopped buying a pastry with my morning coffee so on the whole I am probably saving money.

    I have been enjoying reading your blog by the way. Keep going, you are doing great!

  2. i've been thinking about this. i'm seeing a dietitian and she noticed that, while i am losing weight again, i appear to have abandoned a lot of my hard-earned good habits. the fact is, it's just more comfortable for me to skip breakfast, eat the same pot of veggie soup for lunch for two weeks and then eat a small dinner of whatever than for me to continue with the eggs, soy bacon and low-cal bread, fresh fruit for snacks, hot-house tomatoes and fresh mozzerella for lunch, almonds or cashews for snack and chicken and veggies for dinner. i'm trying to get back to the habits, but while i am losing weight AND saving time and money? it's HARD.

  3. My diet has consisted of not going out to eat so we have saved a TON of money. Eating in is so much cheaper. Unfortunately organic just isn't available in Chile though, because if I had that option we'd probably spend more.

  4. I noticed that our grocery bill has gone up too, but I still try and get lean meats and veggies. My health is very important and the health of my family. If we have to eat out less and forgo entertainment, so be it.

  5. It is sad that healthy food is so expensive. I think people getting away from planting gardens is another factor/reason the obesity rate is up. Back in the day, every family had their own garden in the back yard. Portion sizes were smaller too and people were outside more... all contributing factors.

    I'm actually learning how to cook again. We use to go out or order at least every other day.

    Love your blog too.


  6. We do spend a little more on groceries now that I'm watching what I'm eating. My gym membership is something that I'm fighting to hold on to. This month and next is going to be very rough, so I thought I was going to have to let it go. I talked to the gym manager, just because she asked me why I looked so sad, I told her our situation and she waived our fee for the next 2 months. So I get to hang on to it a little longer.

  7. I really like your blog, and hope to follow you on your success. I too have thought about how high food is right now, and for me to do Weight Watchers the way I want to do it, I need to buy some things, but I feel now is not the time to do it, So I need to get creative. Best wishes on your journey. I will be back.

  8. I know that high grocery bills can be a major concern. Even if you aren't doing fast food, eating cheap can cause weight gain, if you aren't careful. Maybe 100% organic isn't a choice, for economic or geographical reasons, but there are ways to diet on a budget. Sadly, too many people use these 'bad ecenomic times' as an excuse to eat unhealthy. And yes Peggy, it takes being creative. But then it makes buying groceries and adventure, rather than a chore. :) Good luck on your weight loss journey. I'll be following your success.

  9. I'm spending more on fruits and veggies, but it is a worthwhile investment to me. My health is something I'll splurge on. But lots of other things have been stripped from my budget!