Categories: Educational, Food, Interesting
Tags: diet, health, inequality, Jamie Oliver, junk food, nutrition, poverty, Twitter thread

“Junk food” has an inherently negative connotation, but one woman took to Twitter to explain why shaming people for eating junk food is NOT the way to go.

It all started with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who started a campaign called #AdEnough that promotes a new sugar tax. The idea is that if junk food is more expensive, people will eat more healthy foods instead. Jamie says the idea is supposedly for the benefit of “the most disadvantaged communities.”

Twitter user @sibylpain responded to Jamie’s initiative (and junk food taxes in general) “from the perspective of a girl who was genuinely poor growing up and ate awfully.” The thread perfectly sums up why it’s wrong to shame people for eating junk food, and it now has over 11,000 likes.

First, she explained that her dad raised her and her brother as a single parent, without the help of her mother nor any “rich relatives.”

That meant that they were limited on which types of food they could afford to buy.

The family lived on whatever was in the sale section. They took multivitamins rather than splurge on fresh fruits and vegetables.

And as she explains, while it certainly is possible to eat healthily on a budget, it becomes a Herculean task when you have the other life concerns that many poor people have — severe stress, zero free time, and a lack of safety.

She also pointed out that her “junk food” diet caused no significant health problems, and that parents like her dad are just doing their best.

Yes, it would be amazing if everyone could eat more healthy food all the time. But junk food taxes ultimately hurt poor people who may simply go hungry if these foods are not available.

She ended the thread by recommending some policies that would actually help disadvantaged people’s health.

“In conclusion: Stop blaming poor families for eating unhealthy food you middle class knobs,” she wrote.