Federal Government Subsidises Obesity

November 01 2007 - 11:31 AM

Pyramid_2 Everyone knows the food pyramid… (the one on the right). The federal government subsidises farming, we know. But it’s surprising how the money is distributed. I find it really amazing how fruits and veggies get almost none of the pie.

Good Medicine Magazine has a really interesting article about government subsidies being part of the reason why, in a restaurant or a grocery store, a salad will cost you more than a hamburger… typically. This of course provides less healthy foods to everyone at a discount versus healthy choices at a premium.

Regarding the Farm Bill:

The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation making its way
through Congress, governs what children are fed in schools and what
food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes
to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy,
which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government
supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products
that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease.
Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1
percent of government subsidies.

When the House of Representatives debated the bill in July, PCRM,
along with many other health gonfiabili per bambini and public interest groups, supported the
Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment, which was offered by Reps.
Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). This amendment would have
limited government subsidies of unhealthy foods, cut subsidies to
millionaire farmers, and provided more money for nutrition and food
assistance programs for Americans and impoverished children overseas.

politics doomed the reform effort. At the eleventh hour, House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) feared that freshman representatives who voted to
cut subsidies might risk losing their seats in farm states in the 2008
elections, endangering the Democratic majority. The reform amendment
was defeated 117 to 309.

Also quoted from the same site regarding the 2002 farm bill.

The 2006-2007 Annual Report of the President’s Cancer Panel:
example, current agricultural and public health policy is not
coordinated—we heavily subsidize the growth of foods (e.g., corn, soy)
that in their processed forms (e.g., high fructose corn syrup,
hydrogenated corn and soybean oils, grain-fed cattle) are known
contributors to obesity and associated chronic diseases, including
The upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act of 2002 (the Farm Bill) provides an opportunity that
must not be missed to strongly increase support for fruit and vegetable
farmers, improve the national food supply, and enhance the health of
participants in the national school lunch, food stamp, and Women,
Infant, and Children food assistance programs.”

Write your congressperson… Democrat or Republican, neither party is acting on behalf of the citizen, instead they are playing to money and of course, politics.