So with all the constant talk about health problems in the U.S. – obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. – we probably all think that the government works hard, if not to actually do something about it in the form of specific laws, then at least to make sure that they’re not actually supporting some of the reasons the problems are happening in the first place.
In more than a few very interesting articles FoodFacts.com read this week, we learned that, in fact, our government is actually subsidizing ingredients that are linked with (and possibly directly lead to) more than a few of our nation’s health woes.
We’re all very aware that obesity in the United States is a tremendous problem. Just how big a problem it actually is, is reflected in the fact that almost one in five kids between the ages of six and eleven are seriously overweight. That puts them at risk for heart disease, diabetes and many other serious health problems. It’s clear that the government is urging citizens to do something about these problems – mayors in cities around the countries are coming up with “creative” tax ideas to hopefully dissuade people from indulging in sugar-laden beverages which are felt to contribute to obesity.
Sadly, on the other side of the coin, our government is spending over $1.28 Billion annually to subsidize the crops farmers are growing that are used for additives in the same foods and beverages they’re trying to talk us out of consuming. Both corn and soy farmers are receiving tremendous subsidies from Congress and the Department of Agriculture … the same corn and soy used to make hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn starch and vegetable shortening … to name a few.
A report released by the consumer advocacy group, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund is shedding light on this government policy. $277 Billion has been spent on farm subsidies since 1995. Of that huge dollar amount, $81.7 Billion were corn subsidies and $26.3 Billion were soybean subsidies. That’s 39% of the total amount to only two crops being grown in the United States. Sadly, those are the two crops found in almost every processed food on the market, and that are most often genetically modified.
The study actually states that “our own government policy is responsible for promoting obesity-fueling empty calories,” adding that “even as nutritionists and researchers tell us to cut down on junk food in order to end the childhood obesity epidemic, federal agricultural policy is busily underwriting the problem.”
This is information that every nutritionally-conscious American needs to know and understand. FoodFacts.com will keep an eye out for any developments regarding the unusual (and senseless) decisions our government is making that are actually exacerbating the obesity epidemic they’d like to curtail.