So the USDA pushes fruits & veggies as part of a balanced diet in its public health message, but the US government actually subsidizes meat, dairy, and grains (corn) to a much larger degree. Food is a huge industry, but interestingly enough the US Dept of Agriculture actually spends most of its subsidies on food ($79 billion or 2/3 of it’s overall annual budget), not farm subsidies.
Whatever the case may be, we need to start improving diet and nutrition with kids these days if we’re going to combat the staggering obesity rates in this country. Eight states now have childhood obesity rates of greater than 20%, and more than 2/3 of the states (38) have adult obesity rates greater than 25%! We’re not talking about being simply overweight, but being obese! There are clear negative financial impacts associated with being overweight and obese as I have mentioned before, so this trend definitely impacts our health as human beings and our economy’s health. Recent research suggests that at this rate, 50% of the US population will be obese by 2030. Think about the added costs: about $6,500 - $8,400 in additional expenses annually per individual due to obesity.
More people need to realize this fact (as referenced by the author at the end of the Forbes article summarizing this recent research on obesity): “Your health is your most important asset.”
The food plate looks healthful enough, but federal incentives to farmers reflect an entirely different agenda. In large part, the government pays farmers who grow food for animals that become meat. (via Washington Post).