Junk foods tied to the nation’s growing obesity crisis are heavily subsidized by the federal government, which makes sure they are cheap and plentiful, according to a new study.
Junk foods — including high-carb breads, cookies, donuts, sugary drinks, pizza, pasta dishes, and “dairy desserts” like ice cream — are the products of seven crops and farm foods like corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, milk, and meat subsidized by the federal government, according to data from the federal government, The New York Times
Between 1995 and 2010, the government paid $170 billion in agricultural subsidies to finance the production of these foods, in part through subsidies on feed grains.
Health advocates note that the federal government recommends that Americans fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables to help prevent obesity, but only a small fraction of its subsidies actually support the production of fresh produce.
The vast majority of subsidies go instead to commodity crops that are processed into many of the foods that are linked to the obesity crisis.
The study, led by a team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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