My name is Tom Corley. I spent five years studying the daily habits of over 200 wealthy people and over 100 poor people. I tracked over 200 activities that separate the wealthy from the poor. This separation is as wide as the Grand Canyon. The data I gathered from my study is quite frankly revolutionary at least in terms of the way we view wealth and poverty. What I discovered is that our daily habits dictate whether or not we will accumulate wealth and be happy in life or if we will be poor and unhappy in life. One of the interesting things I uncovered in my research was that, in America, we have a unique problem. Poor people are more likely to be obese than wealthy people. I didn’t expect that. I was under the impression that because wealthy people had so much money they could indulge themselves more when it comes to eating. But the opposite was actually true.Wealthy people were more disciplined about their health. They exercised more, usually aerobically, and they were more careful about what they ate, particularly where junk food was concerned. Most of the wealthy avoided junk food I found.
Concerned that my study results did not make sense to me I looked for independent research on the topic of obesity and poverty and here’s what I found:
- The Mayo clinic conducted a study and concluded that people raised in poverty-dense areas were more prone to obesity: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/60/11/2667.extract#.
- PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) published a study this week on the link between obesity and poverty (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/01/08/1321355110.abstract).
- Harvard University’s Kennedy School of government found that reduced physical activity may account largely for obesity rates among the poor.
- The Los Angeles Times recently ran a piece on this very topic (http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-adolescent-obesity-economic-divide-20140113,0,5247266.story#axzz2qTdT0Eb4)
Let’s look at some of the statistical data from my study:
- 57% of the wealthy counted calories vs. 5% of the poor
- 28% of the wealthy ate candy more than twice a week vs. 69% for the poor
- 70% of the wealthy ate less than 300 junk food calories each day. 97% of the poor ate more than 300 junk food calories each day
- 76% of the wealthy exercised aerobically 30 minutes a day, four days a week. 73% of the poor did not regularly exercise aerobically
- 25% of the wealthy visited fast food restaurants three times or more each week. 69% of the poor admitted to eating at fast food restaurants at least three times a week
- 60% of the poor admitted to getting drunk at least once in the past thirty days compared to only 13% for the wealthy.
- 66% of the poor were overweight by at least thirty pounds. 79% of the wealthy were not
- 53% of the poor admitted to having some health issue. Only 18% of the wealthy had health issues
Do you notice the common denominator in these statistics? Habits. Daily habits are driving the obesity rates in America. Poor people have Poverty Habits. They don’t watch what they eat. They eat too much junk food, go to fast food restaurants too frequently and they don’t exercise regularly. Why? Parents are to blame. Parents in poor households unknowingly pass along to their children certain Poverty Habits that cause their children to become obese. Wealthy people, on the other hand, watch what they eat. They limit their consumption of junk food and fast food and they exercise regularly. Wealthy parents pass along certain Rich Habits to their children that encourage healthy living.
What it boils down to is education. Poor parents do not know any better. They are not taught by their parents the good daily health habits that children raised in wealthier homes are taught. worse yet, the next generation is never taught pass along to the next generation certain Poverty Habits. This generational cycle of poverty will continue until parents or educators teach the Rich Habits to children.