The 4th of July is a day for many people of parades, barbeque and of course fireworks. The tradition got its start when the founding fathers met in Philadelphia to write and sign the Declaration of Independence. The day after the Continental Congress voted for independence, John Adams, the future U.S. president, wrote to his wife Abigail. At the end of his letter he stated that Independence day
“ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
One year later in 1777 Philadelphia had fireworks, which Adams called “illuminations,” plus a parade commemorating Independence Day. Since the 4th is so closely associated with fireworks here are four key points to talk about between explosions. Continue reading →
Eating fast food is frequently blamed for damaging our health. It is not the healthiest type of meal since it is typically high in fat and salt. Because of this some government officials have considered regulating parts of the fast food industry to improve public health and reduce health inequalities across society.
Regulating fast food locations to improve health among low income Americans rests partly on a key assumption: that fast food is primarily eaten by poor people, who cannot afford nutritious but more expensive food. Mark Bittman in the New York Times, summed it up nicely: “The ‘fact’ that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes.”
Our recently published research examined this assumption by looking at who eats fast food using a large nationwide random sample. What we found surprised us. The poor don’t eat the most fast food. Instead, the middle class do. Moreover, the difference between the proportion of rich people and poor people who eat fast food was quite small. It seems when you ask people if they ate at a fast food restaurant like McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Taco Bell last week, the majority of rich, poor and middle class said “yes.” Continue reading →