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Old 03-10-2017, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,580 posts, read 17,553,447 times
Reputation: 27640

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Your views and experiences of life in "backward, poor Appalachia" are always fascinating and informative. It truly is a different world. Your post, and particularly the paragraph I bolded, did evoke the following thought:

While the poor and the poorly educated have a knowledge deficit, there is also an attitude (cultural) deficiency which, in my opinion, is as powerfully negative as whatever the lack of knowledge is. I will use rates of smoking as my example.

I don't think anybody for at least the last 20 years doesn't know that smoking is unhealthy. Even a fifth grade dropout would know that. The issue is acting on that knowledge versus just going along with what one sees around one. Smoking rates vary enormously with educational level, but in this case it's obviously not the "knowledge" but the attitude, the ability to defer gratification, which is at stake. In order to get an education, some deferral of gratification is necessary and that ability carries over in so many ways.

The young often do stupid things, whether they are from educated families or not. One of the stupid things I did was start smoking at age 18, despite my awarness that it was not a healthy habit. But I quit at age 28, almost 45 years ago. A single case proves nothing, of course, but can be used to illustrate a point, the point being that my capacity to think for the longer term enabled me to correct my stupid mistake early enough in life (at least I hope) to avoid damage.

By the way, I do not view my post as a rebuttal of yours. What you wrote is an accurate and deeply depressing description of what you observe around you. Rather, I am adding another layer of analysis by emphasizing how powerful cultural factors are as separate from education per se.
I worked in a remote town of about 3,000 in southwest Virginia for a couple years after college. The only grocers within 45 minutes were a regional grocer (one store per town) and Walmart. That regional grocer had not only next to no "natural/organic" selection there, but even normal fresh produce was limited to simple things like apples, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. - a very limited selection. Of course, the end caps were always full of chips, Cheetos, and big 3 liter bottles of store brand soda. Because Food City and Walmart were the only game in town, prices were much higher than where I lived in a town of 50,000.

Even if you had a knowledge of nutrition, finding anything healthy to eat in those areas is tough. That kind of thing is going to contribute to poor health outcomes across the age spectrum, but the elderly in these areas are probably going to be impacted even more severely as they already have a "lifetime in" of it.

This was my primary grocery store in Indianapolis. There is nothing on this ad that's really unhealthy.

Weekly Ads | Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market

This is my closest local grocery store. There is a Kroger on the hill above my office, but it's poorly maintained and not even worth considering. Some healthy things, but also lots of processed and unhealthy food.

https://www.foodcity.com/index.php?v...chDisplay=page

It reflects vastly different markets, price points, and shopping habits. Young people are going to rebound better from eating garbage than older people. Combine sedentary lifestyles, a relatively high proportion of dangerous or physical jobs that break down the body, high rates of smoking, prescription drug abuse, illegal drug use, widespread morbid obesity, and poor dietary options, it's no wonder that this place has lots of "sick fiftysomethings" who are going to have a "destroyed" retirement, if they don't croak before traditional retirement age.

Yes, smoking being bad for you has been well known for years. I learned this in the DARE education in early middle school, which was twenty years ago. There are more smokers here than where I lived in an affluent suburb of Indianapolis (my town has about a quarter of the suburb's HHI), but it's not as prevalent as you might think, particularly among anyone with more than a high school education. Get into more blue collar work, and it's still particularly common, as well as chewing tobacco.

One thing that is wrecking seniors' retirements in this area is drug abuse, not only by the seniors but their children. I know several guys in their early 60s where drugs or alcohol are really impacting daily life. I have several high school friends who are late 20s/early 30s and are still in the drug/party lifestyle. I know a set of twins who both got into drugs - both had children - one is dead and grandparents are taking care of that one's kid, and the other is still dealing drugs, but not using after her sister's death.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,506,948 times
Reputation: 9889
To say that one cannot eat ''healthy'' out of any Kroger, Wal-Mart, IGA, is ridiculous. It's all about choices.
I am from, and live in, Appalachian culture, and I find these comments to be more than stereotypical and a bit snobbish, to put it mildly.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:00 AM
 
Location: USA
6,223 posts, read 5,357,527 times
Reputation: 10636
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
To say that one cannot eat ''healthy'' out of any Kroger, Wal-Mart, IGA, is ridiculous. It's all about choices.
I am from, and live in, Appalachian culture, and I find these comments to be more than stereotypical and a bit snobbish, to put it mildly.
I agree. The reason why Serious Conversation sees endcap full of chips and soda is because the retailer makes a higher profit margin off of them. Organic is overrated and overpriced imo. Have yet to see a study that proves individuals who eat only organic are healthier than someone who does not.
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:17 PM
 
673 posts, read 2,028,463 times
Reputation: 875
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
I agree. The reason why Serious Conversation sees endcap full of chips and soda is because the retailer makes a higher profit margin off of them. Organic is overrated and overpriced imo. Have yet to see a study that proves individuals who eat only organic are healthier than someone who does not.
"Organic" is a lovely, catchy, feel good word. It goes along with the other catchy phrases - fat free, sugar free, low calorie, gluten free, skinny wine, natural - all a marketing ploy.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:05 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,135,648 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I worked in a remote town of about 3,000 in southwest Virginia for a couple years after college. The only grocers within 45 minutes were a regional grocer (one store per town) and Walmart. That regional grocer had not only next to no "natural/organic" selection there, but even normal fresh produce was limited to simple things like apples, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. - a very limited selection. Of course, the end caps were always full of chips, Cheetos, and big 3 liter bottles of store brand soda. Because Food City and Walmart were the only game in town, prices were much higher than where I lived in a town of 50,000.

Even if you had a knowledge of nutrition, finding anything healthy to eat in those areas is tough. That kind of thing is going to contribute to poor health outcomes across the age spectrum, but the elderly in these areas are probably going to be impacted even more severely as they already have a "lifetime in" of it.

This was my primary grocery store in Indianapolis. There is nothing on this ad that's really unhealthy.

Weekly Ads | Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market

This is my closest local grocery store. There is a Kroger on the hill above my office, but it's poorly maintained and not even worth considering. Some healthy things, but also lots of processed and unhealthy food.

https://www.foodcity.com/index.php?v...chDisplay=page

It reflects vastly different markets, price points, and shopping habits. Young people are going to rebound better from eating garbage than older people. Combine sedentary lifestyles, a relatively high proportion of dangerous or physical jobs that break down the body, high rates of smoking, prescription drug abuse, illegal drug use, widespread morbid obesity, and poor dietary options, it's no wonder that this place has lots of "sick fiftysomethings" who are going to have a "destroyed" retirement, if they don't croak before traditional retirement age.

Yes, smoking being bad for you has been well known for years. I learned this in the DARE education in early middle school, which was twenty years ago. There are more smokers here than where I lived in an affluent suburb of Indianapolis (my town has about a quarter of the suburb's HHI), but it's not as prevalent as you might think, particularly among anyone with more than a high school education. Get into more blue collar work, and it's still particularly common, as well as chewing tobacco.

One thing that is wrecking seniors' retirements in this area is drug abuse, not only by the seniors but their children. I know several guys in their early 60s where drugs or alcohol are really impacting daily life. I have several high school friends who are late 20s/early 30s and are still in the drug/party lifestyle. I know a set of twins who both got into drugs - both had children - one is dead and grandparents are taking care of that one's kid, and the other is still dealing drugs, but not using after her sister's death.
Curious about the Walmarts in your area. Are they also deficient in fresh produce, etc? Ones here are not. Sure, they are not "organic" or "artisinal" but for basic veggies I've found the variety and quality to be good. Of course our demographic at the typical Walmart skews quite Hispanic, so there is that. Walmart know their customers, they are into Big Data.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:54 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,854,709 times
Reputation: 4876
My heart hurts reading these posts... I think of my two oldest sisters who both lost their husbands.... one when she was 29 (he was one of the first heart transplant recipients in the 1970's) the other 2 years ago just after she and her husband became grandparents for only the second time at 68. He had a lot of living to do...

Anything can happen - even to those of us who have fielded crises in our past and think we know how to cope. It's still hard. And it still hurts. Coping is a learned skill - unfortunately something bad has to happen before you either get good at it or not.

We adjusted to underemployement when the recession hit and we've fared well financially on one income....and we come from pretty long lived genes.... but I think of my BIL who was hit by a car in the prime of his life. And in an instant - it was all over.

There really is no way to prepare for that big a loss. You just make certain those who are connected to you know you love them and cherish them and that regardless of what happens - it's the love that is important and will carry you through - no matter what happens.
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:57 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,552 posts, read 39,934,465 times
Reputation: 23678
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
My heart hurts reading these posts... ...
We adjusted to underemployement when the recession hit and we've fared well financially on one income....... I think of my BIL who was hit by a car in the prime of his life. And in an instant - it was all over.
....
Yup. life is a tearjerker, sad to see so many friends go down early. Plans, just don't always happen.

we 'adjusted' to a single income (hourly factory wage) in first yr of marriage. It has worked out wonderful, tho limited. I cannot fathom what even 10 yrs of double income would have been like!
(wild and crazy! life and spending)

As you mentioned
Life can / may / will be over in an instant. I have lost at least 15 friends to tragic early deaths (lots of farm kid classmates), and plenty recently due to no insurance / HC and laid off at age 50+. They usually have a very slow and painful death. Tough to see them become withered and physically unrecognizable. I'll take the Quick Snuff-Out if I get a choice.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Haiku
4,056 posts, read 2,571,078 times
Reputation: 5976
Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
I don't think this is true. Not everyone has 'crises' in their life or throughout their life, and certainly not at every age for everyone. Many people live charmed lives.
My father died when I was 15 which resulted in a several year struggle for me to find myself. Lots of depression and many other significant problems. During this time my sister had a boyfriend she later married who I thought the world of - star student, athlete, went to a top college. I always thought he was charmed and due to my struggles, that I was just born under an unlucky star. I very clearly remember the feeling of being trapped and fated to a crappy life. That was 50 years ago.

I just learned that this person who I thought was charmed has been a functioning alcoholic for many years, twice divorced, and just had a stroke and is in a convalescent home. As to me, my wife and I are having a ton of fun in our retirement, living in Hawaii, gardening, I surf every day. There are health issues but I am very happy now. I never would have guessed 50 years ago that this is where I would be now.

My point is, you just don't know what will happen. Things have a way of evening out in the end.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:30 PM
 
168 posts, read 129,848 times
Reputation: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by want to learn View Post
My MAIN point is that with the decline most of us face in our 60s and beyond it is not as easy to take really bad things happening as it was when we were healthier. What may be a bump along the road in our 40s destroys us in our 60s.
The problem is that we hit most of our rough times when we are older, not when we are young. We have no choice. We are at the age when we start to lose those we love. We are reaping the results of poor decisions made when we were younger and "smarter.' We are living in bodies that our brains do not recognize.

At 40 faced with these hardships I would have been quivering wreck. At 65 I know I will survive, whether I want to or not. I believe we are much stronger when we are older despite our physical frailties.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:08 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,692,102 times
Reputation: 41119
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
Puts a crimp in your own personal happiness...
I worry every day about them and their spouses---because they are not having very happy lives in many ways.
It's okay to feel bad for your children, but be careful about letting their choices ruin your life.

They chose those people, and they will need to do what they have to, either marital counseling, cut bait and head back to shore, or be miserable. It's sad, but we didn't choose for them.
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