policy is that abundance of food translates into a well nourished population… (when in fact) seven of the top 10 causes of death in the United States are linked to diet” (Weems and Weber 736). Pollan continues by stating “since 1977 an American’s average daily intake of calories has jumped by more than 10 percent” (102). Critics cite the increased presence of fatty products containing artificial sweeteners, such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HCFS), in our daily diet as a possible reason as to why obesity is on the rise. In fact, “since 1985 an American’s annual consumption of HCFS has gone from forty-five pounds to sixty-six pounds” (Pollan 104). “Because of massive subsidies in the Farm bill for corn and soybean producers, the price of soft drinks and other sugary foods decreased by nearly 20% while the price of fruits and vegetables increased by 40%” (Farm bill Food Battle). A study provided by the Center for Food, Nutrition and Agricultural policy on the evidence relating HFCS and weight gain concluded that, “in a society that is experiencing unhealthy weight gain, it is necessary for individuals to reduce their energy intake, including energy provided from calorie-dense foods and beverages” (Forshee et al. 580). With an always increasing push of high calorie by- products of readily surplussed, subsidized foods the farm bill does not promote healthier foods or incentives for the production of nutritional food crops.
Sample Paper 24 But for critics the impact of the food bill does not extend to just the health of individuals, it also affects programs such as the Food Stamp program. Roughly 26 million Americans rely on Food Stamps to help them purchase a nutritionally adequate diet; unfortunately, the inability to afford a healthy diet also increases the risk of obesity and diet-related illnesses among low income citizens (Hagert 1). Critics state that obesity and illness in turn affect their quality of life and costs tax payers billions of dollars (Hagert 1). As Foodbattle.org points out, “the Food Stamp program of the Farm bill provides recipients on average only $3.15 per person per day for food.” The Center for Public Policy Priorities notes, “when Food Stamp benefits run out, families mostly turn to less expensive and less healthy food, increasing their risk of diet-related illnesses” (Hagert 1). In a recent study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , it was shown that on average, a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of potato chips and cookies, whereas a dollar worth of fresh carrots only provides 250 calories (Drewnowski and Specter 9). When low income parents are forced to provide sustenance for their families, it is only logical they will turn to cost efficient, high calorie (i.e. high energy) foods, instead of more costly, more expensive foods. They state this produces a system where unhealthy, cheaper foods are constantly being consumed by the people who can’t afford adequate healthcare. They go on to explain, “about 35 million Americans – including nearly one in four American children – do not always have access to sufficient food” (Hagert 4). Critics of the food bill point to the
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 64 pages?
- Spring '09