So if you have a slow collapse scenario, how do the issues change?
There is the obvious point that anyone preparing for a catastrophic crises is going to face issues of aging if the situation drags on.
After all, we still have lots of nukes pointed at us, so you can't say that crises went away: at least not completely. Yet many of the survivalists, called retreaters back then, of the 1970s, have aged out, and are no longer with us. So you can call their survivalist mission a draw. They lived out their lives well enough, but had somewhat a failure in timing. Thus spending time and resources on unneeded items. A significant opportunity cost.
But a slow collapse is a different beast, in fact you don't even have to have to have a collapse. A long period of crappiness will go a long way to making peoples lives difficult. Presumably with a populace in a weakened condition, you are set up for follow on problems.
Well here is an issue I had not really thought of.
Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work
Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 11 May 2014 (hat tip: MR)
A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country’s economic malaise.
Recent studies and surveys have shown a distinct relationship between unemployment and obesity, particularly for lower-skilled workers who struggle to find work — a search made more challenging by their weight.
They note that even the employed in an area of high unemployment will have a tendency to put on more weight.
So when we are writing that slow collapse novel, you may want to consider having depressed waddlers rather then the desperate gaunt folks.