Poverty Makes You Healthier!

The decreased caloric intake and increase in non-motorized modes of transportation following Cuba’s economic crisis from 1989-2000 lead to a decrease in heart disease and diabetes, a University of Michigan study finds.

Until its collapse, the Soviet Union provided Cuba with cheap oil and fuel. These resources gone, Cubans ate an average of 1,063 few calories, drove less, and walked and biked more. Obesity dropped from 14% to 7%. Deaths related to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke fell.

In other words, eat less, burn more.

Move over South Beach, here comes The Castro Diet! All it requires is 11 years of economic deprivation.

[Study Abstract]
Economic crisis in Cuba leads to dramatic health improvements [University of Michigan]
(Photo: The Real Cuba)


Edit Your Comment

  1. An outbreak of neuropathy-an acute eye disease, possibly caused by lack of micronutrients-and a slight increase in infant and elderly mortality show that the crisis also had negative consequences for health, Tapia Granados said.

    But hey, you’ll still be thinner and that’s what really matters isn’t it? Castro Diet!

  2. Razzler says:

    Poverty didn’t make them healthier, eating less and moving around more did. There’s nothing earth-shaking here.

  3. rmz says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Beat me to it. Yes, they lost weight, but if you think living in poverty is going to be an overall boon to your health then you could probably use a dose of reality.

  4. jaredgood1 says:

    Yea, but my HDTV and free weights make me happier.

  5. synergy says:

    Well. The per capita caloric intake went down to about 1860. If you look at just about if not all information on the side of your Wheaties, they assume an average recommended 2000 (k)cal daily. I would say that 1860 vs our 2000 RDA would be considered starving.

  6. synergy says:

    *wouldn’t say

  7. OnceWasCool says:

    Not only do you get to live in misery, you get to live in misery LONGER! Yeah!

  8. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Is that sort of like how by staving yourself at least you’re not eating pesticides on fruit and hormones in meat?

  9. JustAGuy2 says:

    Ironically, in the US, obesity is negatively correlated to income – poor people eat less well and get less exercise.

  10. pestie says:

    The Castro Diet wouldn’t even work in the US, since the cheapest food is also the least healthy.

  11. UpsetPanda says:

    The reason why poverty = healthier people would never happen in the U.S. is simply that poverty does not equal health. Not eating does bad things to your body, any recovered anorexic or bulimic could tell you that. It’s that there just isn’t enough food for everyone, and the lack of eating coupled with the activity equals weight loss.

    It’d just never work in the U.S. because like Pestie said, the cheapest food is the least healthy. A bag of chips is $2.99. Give those to the kids between small servings of McDonalds and they won’t want a late night snack. Ice Cream can be bought at $1.99 a gallon (generic brand anyway) and can give people 500 calories every two scoops.

  12. jburland says:

    Not sure if “poverty” is the key word.
    Perhaps “the reduction of non-essential calorific intake” might be more appropriate.

    There’s a parallel to this: the post-war generation in the UK, brought up during a significantly stricter and longer food-rationing regime than applied in the US at the time, was and is healthier than its comparable US group.