US elections 2021-2022

caseyedwards

Well-Known Member
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18,016
Democrats do not disagree????? Are you being willfully blind???? Joe Manchin, Kristin Sinema???? Democrats from California and New York do not agree with Democrats from the Midwest or South. But they hammer out a platform and programs and campaign on that platform. House members from swing states are far more centrist than progressive.

You complain about government programs which have reduced poverty, fed poor children, and increased opportunities in poor neighbourhoods. The Republicans have cut taxes, reducing funding to public schools, cutting taxes for the wealthy, and increasing military spending to ridiculous proportions, but doing nothing for working Americans. You're running enormous deficits as a result, which Democrats keep cutting, and Republicans keep increasing.

Your life expectancy has been declining for the past 6 years - the only nation in the first world where this is happening, and what are Republicans focussed on??? Banning abortion, banning teaching about American history which might make white children "feel bad" about being white, and attacking trans people. School boards are focussed on helping children recover from two years of lockdowns and the challenges are enormous, but crazy Republicans are showing at board meeting to threaten teachers and board members over CRT, which isn't being taught at any public primary, middle or high school in the USA.

Republicans spend all of their time attacking Democrats with lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories, because they have no platform to sell. We all know that you blame Biden for inflation, but what will Republicans do to combat inflation? Who knows? Not even Republicans, apparently.

In the last Canadian federal election, at the all candidates debate, the Conservative leader was asked about how his foreign policy would differ from the Liberals, and his response was to attack Trudeau. When the question was repeated as to what he would do differently than Trudeau, he launched into another attack on Trudeau. Just blaming Biden isn't enough. Tell us what YOU (Republicans) would do differently.
Didn’t manchin just vote for something he said he wouldn’t vote for? Lol. And sinema voted for it to. Like I said democrats are united on everything. You can point to one or to democrats who occasionally delay something but they always end up voting for it. Did you know Manchins liberal rating for this congress will be in the 90’s?
 

olympic

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,548
I have been reading a lot of different articles about how unique the 2022 mid-terms might be -

1. One curious item is that normally, the mid-terms are a referendum on a sitting President. For the 1st time, studies of searches on various internet platforms revealed that a significantly higher amount of American are paying attention to Trump, not Biden.

2. I don't know if there has ever been an election in a year where a hi-profile constitutional right has been TAKEN AWAY. Is there a precedent for that? How does that drive turn-out?

3. Another issue is polling. We can agree that many of us have PTSD from 2016 and the polls once again seemed to underestimate Rs in 2020. One thing that polls do is give low propensity to 1st time voters, so what do pollsters make of the record no's of women and Gen Z registering to vote? Are they not included in likely voter screens? Do the AK House seat and NY House seats, where Ds heavily outperformed the polls last month, mean anything?

That said - https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/

Nate Silver gives Ds 70% chance of holding the Senate, but 30% chance of holding the HR. It's not impossible but Ds would need to win like 90% of the toss-ups to hold the HR.

Senate -

If you look at the polls as they stand, It looks like Ds are in good shape to hold AZ, NH, and CO, and pick-up PA (+1 Ds), but it looks tight in NV and GA. We need to hold 1 of the last 2 to stay at 50-50. We hold both (which Nate still seems to believe will happen) and we get 51-49, and perhaps either Manchin or Synema will become less relevant

Then, D pick-ups from Rs seem to be a battle, and they are not winning in the polls, but Mandela Barnes in WI would be the top get, followed by NC, then OH. Despite everything, It is beyond me how flip-flopper JD Vance doesn't even have to campaign and can turn down debates, but still win. If we can grab one more. That is 52.

Govs -

In Gubernatorial races. Ds will likely pick up 2 governor's mansions in MA and MD. Those are just real blue states with retiring R Governors reverting back. Ds might get AZ, which would be +3. The close races - Ds have to hold NV, OR (Why is leftie OR in play??), and KS - Gov. Kelly is doing a good job holding on in such a red state, though. Surprised by the strength of Whitmer in MI and Shapiro in PA. Evers seems stronger than I'd expect (and maybe slightly outpolling Barnes) in WI
 

Louis

Private citizen
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17,745
Your life expectancy has been declining for the past 6 years - the only nation in the first world where this is happening, and what are Republicans focussed on???

The biggest reason for the decline in life expectancy is obesity, which is the single largest killer in the US and responsible for trillions of dollars in largely unnecessary healthcare expenses. Covid policy made obesity even worse, and at this point 3/4 of the country is fat or obese. It's shocking to me every time I go back how enormous people are, even coming from the fattest country in Europe. Covid also showed us how much more likely obese people are to succumb to diseases that are basically a cold for others.

What are the Democrats doing to tackle this problem? Nothing AFAIK. As much as I disagreed with her on other issues, at least Michelle Obama tried. Nowadays no one is. Fat acceptance is all the rage, and people don't even seem to be talking about the problem, instead glossing it over with politically correct falsehoods like "healthy at any size." (Um, no.)
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
Messages
25,016
The biggest reason for the decline in life expectancy is obesity
Pre-covid, the data says that the biggest reasons are threefold: OD's, liver disease (where obesity is a factor, but not the sole factor) and suicide. Things got worse with covid.
Covid policy made obesity even worse....
Can you cite a study that supports this?
What are the Democrats doing to tackle this problem? Nothing AFAIK.
As opposed to the Republicans and Libertarians who are doing....??????

I agree with you that it is shocking how overweight the average person in the United States is, but there are many reasons for it, and most of them are systemic. First, we're a nation that is dependent on driving - unless you live in a city, people largely don't walk much as part of their everyday lives, so many people are sedentary without even realizing it. Second, corn-producing states have over-weighted power in influencing our dietary system, and corn syrup, which is nothing but empty calories and worse, fuels hunger, is in everything. Third, the pervasiveness of the fast food and beverage industry (in the name of capitalism!), which has no or low nutritional value. (Crap from McDonalds is not nutritious, people shouldn't be drinking soda or lattes with whipped cream, or eating donuts or cheesecake, or 36 ounce steaks, but that is what corporate America is pushing on people.). Four, food deserts in poor areas. Five, lack of nutritional education as part of our core curricula.

What would you do about the problem?
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
Messages
23,119
I would add capitalism. It is much cheaper to produce calorie dense, nutrition deficit foods giving corporations higher profit margins.

Americans do not want to work in places like packing plants - chicken, beef, pork - making it easier for corporations to hire undocumented persons, not having to pay social security/payroll taxes. You don't really think that corporations are going to pay those if they don't have to?

Even harvesting fruits, vegetables Americans don't want to do the dirty, hot back bending work.

As long as corporations can do something cheaply with huge profits they aren't really interested in producing healthy food options and work to end food deserts.
 

Allskate

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,684
So, the MAGA candidate in a close race with Rep. Kaptur claimed to have served in Afghanistan under harsh conditions. He wasn't in Afghanistan and he was just loading planes. Apparently, the GOP folks in charge of the money have just canceled their nearly $1 million dollar ad campaign for him.


 

PRlady

Well-Known Member
Messages
40,459
RE: obesity. It’s most prevalent in the South and Midwest, correlates strongly with education, hits poor minorities hard but also poor white people (the rates in places like West Virginia are shocking.)

It’s also a bitch of a disease to get rid of on the personal level. Let’s not forget the tracking study on Biggest Loser contestants, the majority of whom put the weight back on because their bodies’ set points had increased when they were obese. Watching a family member struggle with it is really sad.

It is not a matter of willpower, any more than alcoholism or opioid addiction.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
Messages
23,119
We also need to remind people that some level of "roundness"was desirable in the past. It was a symbol of fertility - which does have some medical basis - but it is a balance becausd obesity can also be a cause of infertility.

Breast feeding does require the woman to have some level of weight gain.

I gained over 55 pounds during my first pregnancy- because I was very thin. The Twiggy look of the 60's was as dangerous as the obesity. There is also some questions regarding BMI charts.

There is also a reason that college students gain weight in their first year of college if they purchase the meal plan. Cafeteria plans include sugar and search laden foods because that are cheaper to provide.
 

Karen-W

Well-Known Member
Messages
18,984
Govs -

In Gubernatorial races. Ds will likely pick up 2 governor's mansions in MA and MD. Those are just real blue states with retiring R Governors reverting back. Ds might get AZ, which would be +3. The close races - Ds have to hold NV, OR (Why is leftie OR in play??), and KS - Gov. Kelly is doing a good job holding on in such a red state, though. Surprised by the strength of Whitmer in MI and Shapiro in PA. Evers seems stronger than I'd expect (and maybe slightly outpolling Barnes) in WI
You must not be following this discussion very thoroughly because I've talked about the Oregon gubernatorial race (and a couple of the Congressional races as well) several times. "Leftie" Oregon is in play for a couple of reasons. 1) It's a three-woman race - one Dem (Tina Kotek), one former Dem turned independent (Betsy Johnson), and one GOP (Christine Drazan). 2) Even in "leftie OR", the GOP consistently grabs about 42-44% of the vote in statewide elections, depending on the candidate in individual races.

On point #1 - Kotek is your typical Portland liberal; Johnson is a more centrist, blue collar, old-school Democrat from a rural county that borders on Portland and has areas that are slowly becoming more suburban - she also has the big, corporate money support (Phil Knight of Nike is a major campaign contributor); Drazan is a fairly typical conservative - grew up in southern central Oregon, now lives in the Portland suburbs, but still holds to conservative values (she's no Trumper as far as I can tell - and I'm pretty sure if she was, there'd have already been smear ads to that effect).

Which leads to point #2 - Johnson has the capability of shearing off from Kotek enough of the more moderate Dem vote as well as a fair amount of the independent votes that would be inclined to vote for her over Drazan because the only thing the left can really attack Drazan about is the fact that she's supported by Oregon Right to Life (which is a red herring in and of itself because 1) Drazan has stated, repeatedly, she accepts Oregon's voters have decided this issue already (go states rights!) and 2) the governor can't sign a bill into law unless the state legislature passes it and there's no way that both of the Oregon legislative houses flip red this year or any time in the near future). So, the question is, how much of the Dem vote is going to be split by Kotek & Johnson, and will Drazan hold on to enough of the usual GOP vote to get elected with less than 50% of the vote?

There isn't a lot of polling data in Oregon most years, and I'm a bit skeptical of the most recent one conducted last month that fivethirtyeight has included. Why am I skeptical? Well, it was a survey of three races (governor and 2 Congressional races) and the polling company's press release for the poll results identifies the candidate for one of the Congressional races as "he" when, no, the candidate is a "she" - so, if they don't even know that basic information about the candidates, then how reliable is their polling sample?

Also, of note, it is very possible that Oregon could have a 3-3 split in our Congressional delegation if the 5th & 6th districts go GOP. I am quite positive that D5 will go to the GOP candidate (moderate Dem incumbent Kurt Schrader was primaried by a Bend-based progressive, and it's always been the district most in play in the last 15 years). I'm surprised to see, in that latest poll, that my own district, the new 6th district, is trending toward the GOP candidate. I figured there were enough Salem and Portland suburb Dems to keep it blue, even though the rest of the district is rural Willamette Valley which has been trending red in the last 6 years.
 

Louis

Private citizen
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17,745
Pre-covid, the data says that the biggest reasons are threefold: OD's, liver disease (where obesity is a factor, but not the sole factor) and suicide. Things got worse with covid.

The US doesn't directly measure obesity's effect on death. What you write is all true, but doesn't fully explain the decline in life expectancy.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5798364/ is a study (a few years old) where researchers dug deeper into death data and modelled the impact of obesity, which is much larger than the other causes you cite.

Can you cite a study that supports this?

Several, summarized here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health...fueled-by-stress-job-loss-sedentary-lifestyle

As opposed to the Republicans and Libertarians who are doing....??????

Also nothing, I admit.

What would you do about the problem?

I admit, I don't have a full answer to the problem, but I'd look to scale things that have worked elsewhere and borrow things that have worked from other categories, e.g., tobacco. Things like calorie labelling in restaurants, color-coded nutritional value (so red for bad; green for good) prominently displayed, nutritional scores of A-F, fat taxes (e.g., on sodas, etc.), removing branding (e.g., forcing high-calorie, high-sugar soda or candy to be sold in plain packaging), etc.

I agree with you about nutrition education in schools and also increasing time spent on PE in general, treating it with the same importance as math or reading.

I don't know what to do about sedentary lifestyles - it seems like all kinds of carrots have not worked, but sticks take us to uncomfortable levels of government intervention for me.
 

Spikefan

At the Hubbell Salon
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2,633
fat taxes (e.g., on sodas, etc.),
New York does have a soda tax. The uproar from the right was immense. I seem to recall NYC tried something too and the courts said it was beyond their reach. If NYC cannot get it done it’s never happening in a red state.
 

BittyBug

Disgusted
Messages
25,016
I admit, I don't have a full answer to the problem, but I'd look to scale things that have worked elsewhere and borrow things that have worked from other categories, e.g., tobacco. Things like calorie labelling in restaurants, color-coded nutritional value (so red for bad; green for good) prominently displayed, nutritional scores of A-F, fat taxes (e.g., on sodas, etc.), removing branding (e.g., forcing high-calorie, high-sugar soda or candy to be sold in plain packaging), etc.
They recently revamped retail labeling to require that calorie counts be shown in larger typeface and that the total calories for the package also be shown. There was also somewhat recent legislation requiring restaurants with 20 or more locations to show calorie counts on the menu, so places like the Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory and fast food chains are already showing calorie counts.

I like the idea of bad ingredients needing to be highlighted but maybe it should be more of a separate warning. However, I can't see the corn lobby ever allowing that to happen. And I suspect that disallowing branding would probably be interpreted by SCOTUS to be a violation of free speech.

Much like changing people's minds about smoking, I think the best chance to create more nutritional awareness is through early education, and it will take at least a generation to have an impact. But I'm skeptical that under current "anti woke" Republican politics, red states would support such efforts.
 

Louis

Private citizen
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17,745
New York does have a soda tax. The uproar from the right was immense. I seem to recall NYC tried something too and the courts said it was beyond their reach. If NYC cannot get it done it’s never happening in a red state.

Wasn't it Bloomberg who implemented the tax? I believe it was struck down because it only applied to certain businesses: so 7-11 could not sell sugary drinks, but Starbucks could. Other jurisdictions, like Philadelphia, have successfully implemented even higher and broader "fat taxes" that the courts have upheld.

Nanny state-ism is never my preferred approach, but in this instance I believe we have exhausted all voluntarily-only measures.

But I'm skeptical that under current "anti woke" Republican politics, red states would support such efforts.

I thought wokeness was about race, not about nutrition? Maybe I’m thinking about it in a different way, but schools already have education on nutrition, just too little and badly done.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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23,119
Much like changing people's minds about smoking, I think the best chance to create more nutritional awareness is through early education, and it will take at least a generation to have an impact. But I'm skeptical that under current "anti woke" Republican politics, red states would support such efforts.
I also think besides the anti woke politics in red states, the food deserts more likely to exist in areas that are "anti-woke", the biologic needs for sugar/fats/salts (yes there are some), the lack of information on processed sugar and complex sugars, lack of access to fruit/veggies are in those states.

People in those areas have a negative viewpoint of, lack of access to, no money to convert to healthy diets. Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Keto, and whatever the latest healthy diet is have a bad rap. Some because they don't have funds or time to invest in it.

I disagree about smoking viewpoint changes. It has in some component of society. But if you walk in the homeless camps, sit outside the shelters, the low income housing or communities, and others smoking is prevalent.

MY ex dil and her current SO have a huge plant pot - not filled with plants, but overflowing with cigarette butter. Despite the extremely high taxes. Adding a soda tax or sugar tax will NOT change obesity levels.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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23,119
No "woke" society is not just about race. It's roots are class system built.

- Race, - gender identities, - gay, - college education, - body antomy, - religious beliefs - diet, - masks, - vaccines. So much more
Are all part of it.

Someone told me that our granddaughter was being taught "woke policies" because her parents were telling her grandparents, other family members they had to ask permission to hug her.
 

Pink Cats

Well-Known Member
Messages
139
It’s also a bitch of a disease to get rid of on the personal level. Let’s not forget the tracking study on Biggest Loser contestants, the majority of whom put the weight back on because their bodies’ set points had increased when they were obese. Watching a family member struggle with it is really sad.

I can personally a test to how hard it is to lose the weight and keep it off, I have tried multiple times and spent a whole lot of money trying and failing. The last time I worked with a personal trainer for twice a week for 3 years, the cost for this took most of the money I had for discretionary spending. Six months after the end of the 3 years I put a tear in my Achilles tendon and couldn't walk without pain let alone maintain the 1-2 hrs. a day, 5 days a week gym work outs I was used to lose the weight. Then I had to have my gall bladder out and have 3 eye operations. All of that meant I gained all the weight back.
 

PRlady

Well-Known Member
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40,459
My son-in-law was a husky guy when he started dating my daughter but well within normal appearance. He had lost more than 100 pounds with diet and exercise before that. The weight has been creeping back over the years and he’s unhealthily obese again; I know he’s tried various things but being a new dad with a demanding job leaves little time for exercise. Poor guy, it’s hard.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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23,119
Part of the issue with losing weight is what the body perceives.

in the past, our bodies prepared for a cycle of famine vs cycle of bounty. Losing weight in the past meant we were going through a period of less bounty/food available - drought, war, pest infestations, etc.

Once the changes occurred that food was readily available our bodies not only returned to a normal state, but stored extra fat to protect against the time of famine.

Besides the lack of walking/physical activity..your body is/was anticipating another period of famine.
 

nylynnr

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949
I also think besides the anti woke politics in red states, the food deserts more likely to exist in areas that are "anti-woke", the biologic needs for sugar/fats/salts (yes there are some), the lack of information on processed sugar and complex sugars, lack of access to fruit/veggies are in those states.
Food deserts are also a huge issue in large cities, which are largely Democratic. They are a big problem in NYC; something like three million people have low access to groceries and 700,000 have diabetes. I think Democratic officeholders would do well to address the issue more. Mayor Adams has talked about it quite a bit but I'm not sure he's done anything to get healthier food to underserved areas. In all fairness, it's a tough problem.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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23,119
Food deserts are also a huge issue in large cities, which are largely Democratic. They are a big problem in NYC; something like three million people have low access to groceries and 700,000 have diabetes. I think Democratic officeholders would do well to address the issue more. Mayor Adams has talked about it quite a bit but I'm not sure he's done anything to get healthier food to underserved areas. In all fairness, it's a tough problem.
Oh, I agree. My church has an free outreach pantry and trying to get fresh fruits, vegetables. Sometimes we can get it from grocery stores, but they are "hit up" by all the pantries.

They (food deserts) exist in areas where people have limited transportation, money and other poverty issues.

As one of my public health courses, we took grocery/dry good ads from poverty areas and affluent areas in my city as well as physically entering stores recording prices. It was eye opening to say the least.

It was almost always 10'-15% higher in the poverty areas because they had less options of grocery stores or big box stores and less transportation options. If you need to take a bus or taxi/Uber to shop, you need to do go to the closest area. If you have your own car - well shopping all over is easy, thus stores more competitive in prices.
 

clairecloutier

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13,540
Food deserts are an issue, but I read a book recently about diet in America (How the Other Half Eats by Priya Fielding-Singh) that suggested the bigger problems are really 1) the cost of food, 2) the lack of time to prepare healthy meals, and 3) food marketing. The author of the book is a sociologist who studied and interviewed a number of families in the Bay area in-depth and found that all were more or less struggling to reach what she would consider a healthy eating plan. Lower-income families often lacked the funds to buy better-quality groceries. Higher-income families had more funds but often lacked the time to prepare and cook food, and their kids wanted lots of unhealthy snacks and food products, just like lower-income kids. Singh interviewed one upper-class family whose solution was to hire a part-time personal chef. Not exactly scalable. There was one quote in the book that made me laugh: "Dinner had been a problem for years"--yes, I can relate, LOL.

I'm not sure what the answer is to solving food deserts. I mean, short of opening government-run grocery stores, it would seem to boil down to providing tax breaks for grocery companies to open stores in underserved areas?? So is the situation that these tax breaks aren't offered or that bigger companies simply don't act on them??? I don't know. I could never understand this issue. Having lived in some neighborhoods of NYC that were less upscale back in the day, I can only say that what grocery stores did exist were not lacking for customers. I lived in Jersey City for a while and there was no big-name grocery store nearby, but instead one of those smaller urban grocery stores (a CTown, I think). It didn't seem to lack for business because after all, people still need to buy food, even if it's not the highest-dollar food items. If a CTown could succeed in that neighborhood, than why not a bigger store? It's all hard to understand ....
 

MsZem

Well-Known Member
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17,586
Food deserts are an issue, but I read a book recently about diet in America (How the Other Half Eats by Priya Fielding-Singh) that suggested the bigger problems are really 1) the cost of food, 2) the lack of time to prepare healthy meals, and 3) food marketing. The author of the book is a sociologist who studied and interviewed a number of families in the Bay area in-depth and found that all were more or less struggling to reach what she would consider a healthy eating plan. Lower-income families often lacked the funds to buy better-quality groceries. Higher-income families had more funds but often lacked the time to prepare and cook food, and their kids wanted lots of unhealthy snacks and food products, just like lower-income kids. Singh interviewed one upper-class family whose solution was to hire a part-time personal chef. Not exactly scalable. There was one quote in the book that made me laugh: "Dinner had been a problem for years"--yes, I can relate, LOL.
I don't think it's a time issue; people are busy in other countries too, and often have smaller kitchens that are less convenient to cook in. Food isn't more expensive in the US than in many other places, either.

From my time in the US, both when I lived there and as a visitor, I'd say that are a number of issues: food deserts for sure, but also eating habits that aren't all that healthy - big portions, having dinner as the bigger meal, unhealthy breakfasts (I remember my American friends being shocked that I ate salad for breakfast...), a focus on protein consumption that often translates into eating too many animal products, salads that are supposedly healthy but really aren't, and of course the ever-present junk food. Produce is often brought in from somewhere far away and is pretty flavorless, which doesn't encourage consumption even if it is easily available. And yes, a lot of people in the US must go everywhere by car, which isn't good either.

Some of this is infrastructure and geography. A lot of it is cultural. When I lived in Paris and a lot of the produce was pricey, I'd buy seasonal things, eat salad at the cafeteria at work, and went through many a bag of frozen vegetables from Picard. But it is very difficult to separate Israelis from their veggies ;)
 
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once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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23,119
Capitalism is one of the big issues pushing the smaller stores out. They undercut the small stores and the once all the small stores are gone, it raises prices in the areas that lack options.

It's profits for shareholders that the big stores are after, not providing goods and services to the poor.
 

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
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13,540
I don't think it's a time issue; people are busy in other countries too, and often have smaller kitchens that are less convenient to cook in. Food isn't more expensive in the US than in many other places, either.


Well, some good points here, but it's known that Americans' working hours (average/annually) tend to be on the higher end, and that does not take into account commutes or other lifestyle/time issues. Also, income inequality is relatively high here as well, which affects not the price of food but the ability to afford it for lower-income families.
 

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