Hunger and food insecurity have been called America’s “hidden crisis.” At the same time, and apparently paradoxically, obesity has been declared a serious epidemic. Both obesity and hunger (and, more broadly, food insecurity) are serious public health problems, sometimes co-existing in the same families and the same individuals. Their existence sounds contradictory, but those with insufficient resources to purchase adequate food can still be overweight, for reasons that researchers now are beginning to understand.

The apparent paradox of expanding wastelands and persistent hunger and food insecurity in America is driven in part by the economics of buying food. Households without money to buy enough food  first change their purchasing in eating habits,  relying on cheaper high-calorie foods over more expensive neutral rich foods  before they cut back on the amount of food. In order to cope with limited money for food and to stave off hunger, families try to maximize calories-intake for each dollar spent, which can lead to over-consumptions of calories and a less healthful diet.

Research among low-income families shows that mothers first sacrifice their own nutrition by restricting their food intake during periods of food insufficiency in order to protect their children from hunger. The resulting chronic ups and downs in food intake can contribute, over the long run, to obesity among low-income women.

Dr. Larry Brown, executive director of the Center on Hunger and Poverty, reported, "A growing body of research shows that hunger and obesity pose a dual threat for some people. We need to better understand this relationship if our nation is to grapple with these parallel threats to the well-being of Americans. We particularly need to avoid damaging policy prescriptions that assume hunger and obesity cannot coexist."

Renowned food experts and scientists call for a reform agenda to address both hunger and obesity. According to James Wells, president of the Food Research and Action Center, an agenda that seriously tackles hunger and obesity among the poor must address their common roots. Those roots include food insecurity and the impact of poverty. One answer is increased access to income supports and nutrition programs so that more families have sufficient resources to obtain healthier diets.

评析:本文选自《The Paradox of Hunger and Obesity in America》和《Hunger, obesity: two sides of same coin.》,命题者对两篇文章的内容进行了节选和组合,组成了一篇听写段落。本文属于社会经济类文章,介绍了hunger和obesity的“共存”和“矛盾”方面的问题。文章的整体难度不是太大,涉及到obesity,agenda,food insecurity,coexist,paradox,calories,nutrition等相关词汇也是高口常见的词汇,但考生要注意文章中长句子的拆分,抓住句子的主干及核心信息,尤其是一些关键词更应该听懂听清。另外,grapple等一些难度相对比较大的词要求考生在平时需要注意相关词汇的积累,多读一些经济报刊类的文章。