U.S. food programs 'make the poor obese'

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
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What's the old anecdote? An Indian man tells a reporter that he wants to go to America one day so he can see for himself the nation where the poor are fat....

Link

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. government's food aid programs for low-income people are contributing to the high obesity rates of America's poor, according to a recent report from a Washington think thank.

"Today, the central nutritional problem facing the poor -- indeed, all Americans -- is not too little food, but too much of the wrong food," writes Douglas Besharov in his paper, "We're Feeding the Poor as if They're Starving."

The paper was published by the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

"But despite a striking increase in obesity among the needy, federal feeding programs still operate under their nearly half-century-old objective of increasing food consumption," he writes.

Other experts on federal food programs for the poor say that although Besharov's thesis has received some press attention lately, his analysis is flawed and not supported by data.

In his paper, Besharov, director of AEI's social and individual responsibility project, notes that that the U.S. government now spends billions annually on its three major programs to help feed the poor: $18 billion on food stamps; $8 billion on school breakfasts and lunches; and $5 billion on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, which provides food directly to mothers and children.

He says these programs are driven not by an emphasis on healthy eating habits that could help stymie the costly problem of obesity, but by outdated policies that contribute to obesity. Such policies ignore the fact that Americans are much more likely today to be at risk from health problems related to overeating and obesity than those that arise from lack of food.

"We have research, which I describe in the article, that shows that food stamps increase food consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent, depending upon what research study it is," Besharov told United Press International.

When asked to explain how increased consumption, a goal of the food stamp program, negatively affects recipients or contributes to increased obesity, Besharov, who appeared reluctant to comment on his report, said only, "of course it is negative," and said the impact of is explained in his analysis.

In his article, Besharov says that although around 65 percent of Americans are overweight, with more than half of them obese, the best estimates place the rate of obesity among the poor at 5 to 10 percent higher.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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So what is your point?

65% of the population is overweight, 35% of the population is obese, and the poor typically have rates of 75% and 40% respectively. The difference may be statistically significant but lack clinical significance.

American eating habits are horrible but the primary culprit is not federal food assistance programs . . . it's capitalism.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
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$2.00 at burger king can get me 5x my daily dose of saturated fat and cholesterol for the day. Two dollars can also get me big salad, a side of fruit, and some lowfat pretzels.

It's not food programs, it's general ignorance and the lack of desire to actually eat healthy.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,512
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Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
So what is your point?

65% of the population is overweight, 35% of the population is obese, and the poor typically have rates of 75% and 40% respectively. The difference may be statistically significant but lack clinical significance.

American eating habits are horrible but the primary culprit is not federal food assistance programs . . . it's capitalism.
Funny. I thought the problem was that people don't get off of their fat asses. Bloody stupid socialists, always making asinine claims about Capitalism being to blame for all problems.

ZV
 

Wallydraigle

Banned
Nov 27, 2000
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Originally posted by: vi_edit
$2.00 at burger king can get me 5x my daily dose of saturated fat and cholesterol for the day. Two dollars can also get me big salad, a side of fruit, and some lowfat pretzels.

It's not food programs, it's general ignorance and the lack of desire to actually eat healthy.


And $4 can get you both.

 

Wallydraigle

Banned
Nov 27, 2000
10,754
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Originally posted by: lirion
Originally posted by: vi_edit
$2.00 at burger king can get me 5x my daily dose of saturated fat and cholesterol for the day. Two dollars can also get me big salad, a side of fruit, and some lowfat pretzels.

It's not food programs, it's general ignorance and the lack of desire to actually eat healthy.


And $4 can get you both.


Plus you can super-size for only $.39!:Q

 

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
31,796
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Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
So what is your point?

65% of the population is overweight, 35% of the population is obese, and the poor typically have rates of 75% and 40% respectively. The difference may be statistically significant but lack clinical significance.

American eating habits are horrible but the primary culprit is not federal food assistance programs . . . it's capitalism.

I don't agree with the article because eating habits are more to blame than anything else. I posted it just because I found it interesting, funny, and good 'water-cooler talk' material. But, your claim that America's eating habits is the fault of capitalism is laughable.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
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4 dollars at mcdonalds feeds u, it takes 8 dollars at fresh choice to do the same. poor people generally aren't that happy, happy people less likely to stuff themselves. and the definition of poor in india is a little different. polluted drinking water, shacks, child labor etc
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
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the mcdonalds mighty kids meals crack me up. some guy at corporate had an epiphany one day about the need to feet obese little children:)
 

shiner

Lifer
Jul 18, 2000
17,116
1
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Gotta make em fat somehow....the bigger they are the more Soylent Green they make....
 

exp

Platinum Member
May 9, 2001
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your claim that America's eating habits is the fault of capitalism is laughable.
Don't be too sure about that. Yesterday I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and I'm pretty sure Capitalism pushed me.

 

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
31,796
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Originally posted by: exp
your claim that America's eating habits is the fault of capitalism is laughable.
Don't be too sure about that. Yesterday I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and I'm pretty sure Capitalism pushed me.

LMAO :D
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
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u know car makers are making seats wider and wider to better fit americas ever growing ass? quite funny:)
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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I could run off a myriad of studies on how commercial television shapes the perspectives of children and how those habits carry on into adulthood.

The competition to provide MORE for LESS is best exemplified by the fast food industry. In the absence of said competition, McDonald's would not offer a Big N' Tasty for $1 or supersize a meal (which typically adds 400-600 calories) for 39 cents.

For every milk commercial there are 1000 for sugar-laden cereal and candy, fat-packed chips and cookies, and every conceivable iteration of a high sat'd fat, low fiber meal that can be purchased for 2.99 or less.

In a capitalist society you reap what you sow. Entrepreneurs get the hype but every real American works their arse off to get ahead. Time dedicated to earning money reduces the time available for every other pursuit . . . family time, leisure activities, exercise, cooking meals. The pace of life (promoted by capitalism) may increase efficiency but that efficiency does not correlate with quality. The quantity of food consumed by Americans has increased by 20% in the past two decades but the quality leaves much to be desired.

In summary, the pursuit of the American dream and the images endemic in our media about that dream (facilitated by capitalism) has produced a fat, sedentary population.
 

BatmanNate

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
12,444
2
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Hey I have an idea. Instead of BS social welfare programs that just redistribute earned wealth like a masqued form of socialism, why don't the fatties get off their asses and earn the money to buy some healthy food from a hard, honest day of physical labor. Eating healthy is not expensive, and working hard will not only make them feel better about themselves but establish some income and provide better food.
 

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
31,796
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I heard Communism has a great nutrition and exercise program....maybe we should try that out.
rolleye.gif


 

308nato

Platinum Member
Feb 10, 2002
2,674
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...In a capitalist society you reap what you sow....


Of course, what history shows is that socialist and communist populations have always reaped something so much better from what they have sown.

rolleye.gif



Well, when I think about it, everyone is thin as a pin in North Korea from the news reports I have seen.
 

BatmanNate

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
12,444
2
81
Originally posted by: Queasy
I heard Communism has a great nutrition and exercise program....maybe we should try that out.
rolleye.gif

Actually, with communism they'd take some of my money that I earned and distribute it to other people so we all get food, kinda like this whole program, huh?
 

Wallydraigle

Banned
Nov 27, 2000
10,754
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Originally posted by: BatmanNate
Hey I have an idea. Instead of BS social welfare programs that just redistribute earned wealth like a masqued form of socialism, why don't the fatties get off their asses and earn the money to buy some healthy food from a hard, honest day of physical labor. Eating healthy is not expensive, and working hard will not only make them feel better about themselves but establish some income and provide better food.



Burn him! Burn him!;)


Seriously, if you were running for office, and you just said that, do you realize how suicidal that would be? You can't suggest that someone actually earn their bread.

 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
Hey I have an idea. Instead of BS social welfare programs that just redistribute earned wealth like a masqued form of socialism, why don't the fatties get off their asses and earn the money to buy some healthy food from a hard, honest day of physical labor. Eating healthy is not expensive, and working hard will not only make them feel better about themselves but establish some income and provide better food.

If you live in the Sunset area of SF it's easy to find markets selling fresh produce. If you live in the Mission District you have a better chance of finding skanky beaver in fishnets than fresh fruit (well at least not the fruit you eat).
 

BatmanNate

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
12,444
2
81
Originally posted by: lirion
Originally posted by: BatmanNate
Hey I have an idea. Instead of BS social welfare programs that just redistribute earned wealth like a masqued form of socialism, why don't the fatties get off their asses and earn the money to buy some healthy food from a hard, honest day of physical labor. Eating healthy is not expensive, and working hard will not only make them feel better about themselves but establish some income and provide better food.



Burn him! Burn him!;)


Seriously, if you were running for office, and you just said that, do you realize how suicidal that would be? You can't suggest that someone actually earn their bread.


I don't have much of a future in politics. Oh well, I suppose plain old larceny will have to suffice. :)
 

308nato

Platinum Member
Feb 10, 2002
2,674
0
0
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Hey I have an idea. Instead of BS social welfare programs that just redistribute earned wealth like a masqued form of socialism, why don't the fatties get off their asses and earn the money to buy some healthy food from a hard, honest day of physical labor. Eating healthy is not expensive, and working hard will not only make them feel better about themselves but establish some income and provide better food.

If you live in the Sunset area of SF it's easy to find markets selling fresh produce. If you live in the Mission District you have a better chance of finding skanky beaver in fishnets than fresh fruit (well at least not the fruit you eat).


So, if you live in the Mission District you aren't allowed to leave it to get some fresh produce.

 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
Of course, what history shows is that socialist and communist populations have always reaped something so much better from what they have sown.

Clearly, reading comprehension is not your strong suit. The broader context of my comment is that in order to get ahead you have to dedicate the requisite time to productive enterprises. Issues which fall outside that sphere are of lesser priority. Our capitalist society has promoted the easy meal (b/c buying groceries and fixing meals wastes valuable time). The outcome is that America is quite productive but also quite fat. It is possible to be productive and lithe but our capitalist society requires consumption . . . the more the better.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
So, if you live in the Mission District you aren't allowed to leave it to get some fresh produce.

I used SF b/c it's such a small city in size but exemplifies the disparity in availability. In large US cities, entire regions are devoid of grocery stores. Assuming someone wanted to socially engineer better food consumption in welfare recipients you could restrict (ration) stamps based on certain criteria (stamps for fresh produce, lowfat milk, lean cuts of beef/poultry) but you still have to insure availability. We don't even do it with the school lunch program. USDA quotes 30% fat, 30% pro, 40% carb but the carbs are sugar heavy and the fat is quite saturated.
 

BatmanNate

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
12,444
2
81
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Of course, what history shows is that socialist and communist populations have always reaped something so much better from what they have sown.

Clearly, reading comprehension is not your strong suit. The broader context of my comment is that in order to get ahead you have to dedicate the requisite time to productive enterprises. Issues which fall outside that sphere are of lesser priority. Our capitalist society has promoted the easy meal (b/c buying groceries and fixing meals wastes valuable time). The outcome is that America is quite productive but also quite fat. It is possible to be productive and lithe but our capitalist society requires consumption . . . the more the better.


That's not merely the fault of capitalism. Every company wants to sell their product, healthy or not. Marketing often targets people seeking easy meals because ease is a value in our culture, albeit a detrimental one in this case. It's just as cheap if not cheaper to go to the grocery store and buy fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, and other preparations for food that is healthy and tasty, however it requires from you knowledge and skill, which don't fit in with the 'ease' of the typical American lifestyle (to generalize.) This is not a fault of our economic system, merely our culture.