You are what you eat header image 2

We’re fat and growing

August 27th, 2007 · No Comments · Farm Bill, Food selection, General, Research

The Trust for America’s Health today released its annual report on obesity, and, no surprise, we learn Americans are fat and getting fatter. At that link, you can read the news release or the entire report issued by the trust, a nonpartisan nonprofit group, including state by state information. I can report, consequently, that Kansas ranks 27th nationally (better than I expected) and is among those states that can report an increase in the rate of obesity.

The discouraging part of the report, though, is the recommendations. They rely almost exclusively on government actions to promote healthy eating and exercise and to discourage unhealthy eating and inactivity. Clearly, obesity is a public health horror story, but, equally clearly, neither policymakers nor lawmakers show any interest in undertaking the kinds of programs the Trust suggests.

Why? I don’t think it’s being cynical to say that far too many of the lobbyists and political contributors benefit from the status quo. The current farm bill debate is Exhibit A, with its agriculture-related portions stuck in the mode of subsidizing a few commodities that allow for cheap highly processed foods rather than more healthful, less-processed or unprocessed foods. And let’s face it, companies are making lots of money selling diets, diet aids, and, especially, drugs to combat such obesity-related illnesses as heart disease and diabetes.

Eventually, I think, the pols will get on board, but I don’t expect that to happen until more Americans start voting the old-fashioned way: with their wallets. What can you do? Buy from the produce aisles at the grocery store, look for pastured beef, pork and chicken and leave the Lunchables and frozen dinners to rot in the refrigerator cases. And remember, convenience foods don’t save time.


No Comments so far ↓

Like gas stations in rural Texas after 10 pm, comments are closed.