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Sun Mar 17, 2013, 04:47 PM

In Obesity Epidemic, Poverty Is an Ignored Contagion

Under the category “Summer Rentals That Have Gone Terribly Wrong,” there are perhaps few parallels to the experience of Charles Henry Warren, a Manhattan banker who, in 1906, took a house in Oyster Bay on Long Island’s North Shore. By the end of the season, Mr. Warren’s young daughter had developed typhoid. She was soon followed in illness by Mr. Warren’s wife, a second daughter, two maids and a gardener. At the time, typhoid, a bacterial illness spread through contaminated food and water, was largely a disease of the urban poor. The property’s owner, George Thompson, concerned that the house, on which he relied for rental income, would become associated with tenement filth in the minds of wealthy New Yorkers, invited a sanitary engineer to determine the source of the outbreak.

What the medical investigator, George Soper, discovered was that the Warrens’ cook, Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant, had left an imprint of malady in other quarters of upper-class Manhattan and its summer enclaves. Typhoid, he wrote, had erupted in every household in which Mallon had worked over the previous decade. An asymptomatic carrier of the disease, Ms. Mallon would be known to history as Typhoid Mary and spend most of the remainder of her life quarantined on North Brother Island in the East River, having failed to abide by a promise to cease working in the city’s kitchens.

The events supply the narrative of “Fever,” a new novel by Mary Beth Keane, which arrives at a time when we are once again debating the parameters of public health policy’s encroachments on our behaviors. Last week, a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan used the words “arbitrary and capricious” in striking down the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to limit the size of sugary drinks (which pertained to certain sweetened beverages but not others, and some retail environments but not all). The phrase, though, could have been similarly applied a century ago to the city’s treatment of Ms. Mallon, given that officials were not in the habit of isolating other healthy carriers whom they had identified as ignoring ordinances against the spread of the disease.



I wonder why poverty is ignored .....

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Reply In Obesity Epidemic, Poverty Is an Ignored Contagion (Original post)
MindMover Mar 2013 OP
love_katz Mar 2013 #1
shenmue Mar 2013 #2

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 05:15 PM

1. Sad to say, the reason poverty is ignored is easy to understand.

The Robber Barons who own our society and buy themselves the best little government they can afford, profit from poverty.

It makes me furious, but the Corporate-owned media isn't going to tell people about it, and many people either can't afford an internet connection, don't have good enough reading and comprehension skills to be able to study what is going on and thus mount an effective challenge to our overlords, or they are working multiple jobs in order to barely survive, and time to study what is going on, let alone do anything to campaign against it, is a luxury that is not available to them.

I know conspiracy theorists are laughed at...but, it does feel like a kind of concerted campaign to keep the rest of us prone, with the boots of the 1% on our necks.

On the other hand, you prolly left off the smiley because you figured we would all get where you are coming from.

I wish I knew how to turn everything around, and get the majority of us to WTFU. My guess is that one of the many tasks we need to take in is to take back the public airwaves from the Corporate-owned propaganda mongers.

The story you posted is classic of how the Robber Barons respond to any kind of problem: jail the poor, no matter what.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 05:39 PM

2. It is true that sometimes the worst food is the cheapest.

I am trying to change that here and there. Trying to make better decisions. I guess if you've only got small change in your pocket, and a burger is 99 cents but a fresh salad is $5, it kind of pushes you. Also there's all the advertising, and the chemicals they put in fast food... but I still have to try. Had some carrots today. Went to the gym, even though I was tired. Felt really good. Will continue!

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