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  • The Obamas and Food in America: Another Flip-Flop?

    Obesity in America?

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a campaign against childhood obesity, which is interesting considering President Barack Obama’s past statements on hunger in America.

    In November of 2009 — only three short months ago — President Obama “reacted with concern” at a report that Americans are suffering “record levels” of “food insecurity,” according to a report from the Boston Globe.  President Obama was quoted as saying that “it is particularly troubling that there were more than 500,000 families in which a child experienced hunger multiple times over the course of the year.”  In his statement, the President committed to “reversing the trend of rising hunger.”

    “In addition, a bill I signed into law last month invests $85 million in new strategies to prevent children from experiencing hunger in the summer,” President Obama said.

    President Obama’s remarks drastically differ from those of his wife, who recently stated that obesity is now a threat to national security since obesity is “one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.”  CNSNews reports on how the First Lady plans to combat this national security threat:

    Some of the goals include ending what Obama referred to as “food deserts” with a $400 million a year “Healthy Food Financing Initiative,” which will bring grocery stores to low-income neighborhoods and “help places like convenience stores carry healthier food options.”

    Mrs. Obama also plans to have the government spend over $10 billion to feed even more children through government programs, under the Childhood Nutrition Act.

    So which is it?  Is the real problem here hunger, or is it obesity?

    According to the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, “the major dietary problem facing poor Americans is too much, not too little, food.”  He goes on to explain that while it would be nice for Americans to stop drinking so much soda pop, and start exercising more, “simply expanding the Food Stamp program would not accomplish that goal. What is required is a very difficult effort to change food preferences.”

    Can a First Lady make a difference in changing America’s food preferences?  If her greatest idea right now is expanding the Childhood Nutrition Act to feed even more children — in essence, expanding the Food Stamp program, making more food more available to already apparently obese children — it appears as though her plan is likely to fail.  In fact, not only may it fail, it may also be a $10 billion waste of money for Americans everywhere, both obese and not.

    Of course, the best part is that both President and Mrs. Obama have the same solutions to their respective problems with America’s food situation: spend more money, and make more people dependent on the government for food.  Apparently with them every problem has the same solution.

    At least they’re predictable.

    Allie Winegar Duzett currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    53 Responses to The Obamas and Food in America: Another Flip-Flop?

    1. Lisa, Texas says:

      While I agree with most of your articles I do not think that this is accurate. Obesity may be a problem for Americans of all socioeconomic statuses, BUT the reason that poor children are obese is because they do not have access to healthy food (food deserts) and because junk food is cheaper. If they have 2 dollars to spend for lunch they are more likely to buy a candy bar and pop instead of an apple and banana. They can get more food for the cost, are still hungry afterwards, but it leads to obesity because they are empty calories. Again, I enjoy most of the Heritage Foundation articles but I do not support this. Children in America are hungry and obese at the same time.

    2. Lisa Wilkinson, Texa says:

      I will be happy to provide links to professional studies on the correlation between hunger and obesity.

    3. Mary, Cleveland says:

      Some people are hungry all the time even after they eat a full meal about an hour later. So yes, many people experience "hunger."

      A lot of times it is the parents fault because they become irresponsible to provide healthy food to their children. The government cannot play the role as parents as the Obama's want.

      At least the Obama's can do is to encourage people to look at websites for healthy eating tips, (such as the food triangle), buy exercise videos, joing local gyms,etc. Also, they should team up with people like Oprah, along with her colleague Dr. Oz, on promoting healthy eating and exercise.

      The Obama's need to tap into the free market to help curb this problem, not tap into the government.

      Yes, I do see many low income people who are obese.

    4. Cliff, Ohio says:

      First, low or no income students get free or reduced fee lunches, so money isn't an issue there. Second, I don't buy the theory junk food is cheaper. Time and time again while checking out at the grocery store, I watch someone pay for a cart full of groceries with a food card. It's usually loaded with expensive microwave meals that cost much more than buying real food and cooking it. The main problem have more to do with laziness than anything.

      With all the assistance for low income people there is today, I can't believe there is a major problem with children going hungry. If there is, then someone needs to find out what the parents are doing with the money and food cards they are receiving. Personally, I think any child that is truly going hungry in this country today is a victim of child abuse and the parent needs to be investigated.

    5. Ralph says:

      Lisa, I have no doubt that poor people need to eat healthier, but it's not becasue they can't afford it. You mentioned specifically a banana and an apple. That would cost less than a dollar for both. A candy bar and a can of pop where I live costs about $2. My math says from this scenario, it's half the cost to eat healthier.But you say "more food for the cost." Add an orange and a pear to make the costs about the same. Now who gets more food? The problem is as the article states, choices. Make a healthier lunch for free and after school they'll still get the coke and the candy bar casue they still got the two bucks.

    6. Leasa, also in Texas says:

      Lisa, I find your comment that poor people can't afford health food. I disagree completely. I see people on food stamps at the store buying the most expensive cuts of meats, along with soda, kool aid and candy. There is healthy food that is affordable, but they choose to purchase junk instead. The junk, by the way is not cheap. The schools maintain healthy food by law. If they bring junk that is the parents fault for even having the junk in their diets. I am sick of the whinning for the poor, when the government gives them food stamps and housing.

    7. John Schaffer, Kansa says:

      I am with Lisa on this one. I also agree with many of your articles, but it seems that your research falls a bit short in this area. Obesity is linked to the lack of quality food that families of all socioeconomic backgrounds have easy access to. Jamie Oliver has a great speach over at TED that goes into great detail about the reasons behind the obesity epidemic. (http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html) Personally, I don't think he goes deep enough into the subject, as I think there needs to be more research into the breakdown of the family structure in the past 30 years and how it has effected virtually every aspect of life.

    8. Jared, Oak Park says:

      This is stupid. I hope we realize that some people don't get enough to eat and others eat too much. The correlation between eating poorly and being hungry and being obese are things that can be debated, but to say that this constitutes a flip-flop is absurd.

    9. Bill says:

      Allie, have you considered the possibility that some people are hungry and other people are obese?

    10. Bill says:

      edit: some people ARE hungry and other people are obese?

    11. Andrew, St. Andrews says:

      This blog posting is so stupid it drools. There are people who are hungry and there are people who are obese and they might both result from poverty. Forget the candy and coke vs. banana anecdotes. Try instead to see how much more expensive grass fed lean beef is vs. corn fed fatty beef. Try farmed salmon vs. wild salmon. Try organic potatoes vs. non-organic potatoes. Better yet, try canned foods (which have high sodium content and less fibre) vs. fresh vegetables. And regarding free or reduced lunches: unless things have changed since I was in school, school lunches are low quality foods and not very good for you.

      So there you go. If you want to eat the best foods, it will cost more money. If you are struggling to pay the rent and have only a little disposable income, then you will scrimp and buy lower quality foods which have salt and fat and are probably dependent on cheap corn so are also high in sugar. If you are even poorer than that, then you have difficulty putting food on the table at all.

      There are degrees of poverty, like there are degrees of wealth and degrees of intelligence and degrees of maturity. Consider this article: it is immature and stupid and poor, but it might not be quite as immature and stupid and bankrupt as something you might find on The Corner.

    12. jbtrevor, Stowe, VT says:

      The more we focus on obesity, diet, food choice, body image, calories, reading labels, etc etc etc the fatter we become.

      I grew up in the 60's when we began to focus on this…the explosion in obesity has followed the explosion of knowledge/obsession with eating habits.

    13. jbtrevor, Stowe, VT says:

      Like wise, the more we focus on poverty & programs to end it; more people end up needing help.

    14. Bobbie Jay says:

      There is access to nutritional food in every grocery store, so access to nutritional food is a deception. Mrs obama used her own daughters as obese and she is running this campaign? When her body is certainly not under weight?

      The whole "social" nonsense started with the infiltration of the words "our children." Nanny Pelosi screaming "our children" are uninsured now Obamas saying "our children" are obese or starving. My children are my own. The youth of America, I didn't bring into this world, are not yours, mine and definitely not "ours." How about charging neglect and abuse to the parents who brought the children in this world. How about the parents sending their children to school with a "bag lunch" from their shop free government food subsidies? How about tax payers aren't accountable for other peoples parental responsibilities.

      Obamas: looking everywhere to spend money frivolously and irresponsibly.

    15. Marguerite says:

      Answering Lisa from Texas -

      Ummm . . . do you really think that a candy bar and a soda pop are 'more food' than an apple and a banana??? Children are obese because their parents probably are; they do not exercise any more than their fingers playing video games – just for two reasons. And the PC police are putting an end to playground games and sports because of 'bullying', so no exercise there, either. It is the parent's problem when kids make poor choices – let's not sluff this off on any one else!

    16. Halleck says:

      You have got to be kidding me. What genius wrote this article? There can only be one important food related problem in this country!

      Some people eat too much, others don't get enough. OMG Obama flip flop!

      Oh, I also like how you only cite the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector.

      Bravo, echo chamber.

    17. Mike, Dallas, TX says:

      Rather than having food stamps or government subsidies be equally applicable to all foods, why not target them to healthier choices – much as coupons from the food companies or grocery stores would do? Certain foods could have an "approved for food stamp" code and be subsidized…others (junk food, presumably) would not have the code/subsidy. Haven't fully baked that thought, but seems to make much more sense than the status quo.

    18. Mike, Dallas, TX says:

      When I was a kid in the '60s, there were commercials during cartoons about the President's Physical Fitness Council. Specific exercises were demonstrated and there were actual 'qualification tests" you could take at the schools/parks to earn a spot on the council. Some of the "Play 60" types of things now running are along those lines, but fall well short as the reality of a kid running around for an hour a day as this runs up against societal issues (safety, among them). Still…you can do jumping jacks and push ups in the privacy of your own home…and earn a spot on the Council!

    19. Doctor Biobrain, Aus says:

      I think jbtrevor is right. The problem with problems is thinking about them, so the solution to any problem is to ignore it.

      For instance, crime didn't become a big problem until the 60's, so we should be able to solve it if we just get rid of all the cops. We should probably empty the prisons too, just to be safe. I mean, how else to explain why crime when up around the same time we got more cops and prisons? Ignorance is the answer!

    20. Mike, Dallas, TX says:

      Final thought on getting kids more activity time: YMCA/YWCA.

    21. John Schaffer, Kansa says:

      jbtrevor notes the 60's, and I have to ask, what other social factors changed in the 60's and 70's that impacted the dynamic of how we consumed food? Not to pick on any one franchise, but McDonald's had a lot of activity in the 60's. There are so many factors that contribute to obesity; family structure, two-income families that impact the ability to cook at home, the economics of school lunches, our fast pace culture that asks you to give up all of your family time just so you can compete with the Jones' and put your kids in soccer, dance, gymnastics, piano, Scouts, etc… With this much attention deviating from taking a healthy interest in our interpersonal interaction within our own families, it begins to become more clear as to how food and cooking become the least important factors in our lives. When, in fact, there really isn't anything more important than the interpersonal interaction (or healthy consumption) that can take place by cooking and consuming a meal with your family at the dinner table.

    22. rb USA says:

      Americans cannot afford wholesome fruits and vegetables. All farmers who participate in the government farm program for corn, beans, cotton, or wheat are prohibited from selling fruits and vegetables. So the government is starving the people. Ms. Obama should talk to the guy she married. He is the problem.

    23. John Westerman says:

      You're not really serious with this article, this is some kind of joke? You don't think that under-nourishment, hunger, malnutrition, and obesity can occur at the same time? If you have the intelligence to write this article you also possess enough intelligence to understand that you are propagating a lie in order to score cheap political points with people you deem too stupid to understand the issue. In one short article you've managed to insult everyone's intelligence and demonstrate that you yourself lack the moral fiber to refuse to engage in such a low shenanigan. This is truly shameful.

      Either you lack the intelligence to understand the issue, or you are dissembling. Those are really the only two options, and both of them reflect poorly on the Heritage Foundation.

    24. Ozzy6900 says:

      Why do we need the Government to be involved with our private lives? Controlling our children is the job of the family, not the Government. Monitoring what a child eats is the duty of the parents not the First Lady (she should monitor her own children). Today, the excuses are "Too many families have only one parent" or "Parents are too busy working to monitor their children".

      POPPYCOCK! As I have stated before, parents are in charge of their children, not the Government. Why should my tax dollars go to pay for your child's problems? I am dealing with my children – deal with yours!

    25. Barbara Frances Delo says:

      I love Twinkies.

    26. Heidi Smith Ohio says:

      $400 million to grocery and convenience stores? How stupid! Just another way to channel huge amounts of money to their buddies, people who own those businesses.

      Poor people eat low quality food, it's cheaper. Hot dogs, bologna, mac & cheese. It's just another example of the economic conditions we're living in. If the govt didn't take so much money out of peoples pockets then maybe they could purchase better food!

      We subsidize the food industry enough.

      Michelle needs to research what public schools have been feeding our children over the years, cheap processed food which has helped make the children prefer those foods and refuse to eat Mom's roast! When I was in elementary school late 70's & 80's, our lunch ladies managed homemade meals which is healthier. Over the years, to cut cost, they fed our kids junk and the unions pocketed the money.

    27. Jaipi Sixbear says:

      Both problems exist in this country. There are people starving in this country and there are also other people who are consuming too much and leading inactive lifestyles. This is not a flip flop. Just like there can be high crime and still be good people in the same place. JP

    28. Ruth Johns says:

      Go look in the trash cans at the middle school lunch area. There you will find the pears, oranges, apples, packages of carrots and celery. Those are discarded from the free lunches. Meanwhile, the line for the pizza cart grows longer.

    29. Ruth Johns, San Dieg says:

      Go look in the trash cans at the middle school lunch area. There you will find the oranges, pears, apples, packages of little carrots and celery. These are discarded from the free lunches. Meanwhile the line for the pizza grows longer. (It's not free.)

    30. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I was a single parent and also a nurse, my children were not obese or even over weight, we did things outside, I encourage kids I watch to play outside when weather permits, we take walks together. Trouble today is that it's easier for parents to give them a video game than to taake them for a walk, teach them to play hop-scotch or let them dran on the sidewalk and driveway, in summer play in the sprinkler. I also notice in doing day care most kids are walking around with a juice box or snack all the time. Here meal times and snack times are at the table, no walking around with food or drink. we also do not concentrate on weight, it can lead to esating disorders, babies are suppose to be cuddly and a little plump, as a child grows in height they slim out, Stop making bulimic and anorexic kids, that is far worse than some being a little over weight, fruit and juice snacks oor a home made cookie. let's just use common sense.

    31. JD, real world says:

      $10 billion dollars on an obviously bad idea. Since when does the first lady get to decide to spend that kind of money?

    32. Karen Texas says:

      There is one problem for both Michelle and Barry —freedom and independence. Neither of these figure into their view of America…they hate that people have choice. They both have said they have never been proud of our country until it fell into the hands of BHO. They are sorry for all the evils of the ugly American past …..as they see it. But they intend to create a new nation of servants to the president. They will eat out of his hand and do his bidding…just like Acorn and the labor unions and the Democrat party.

      Food and hunger are the last thing on their minds, "how can I manipulate the population of America?" is the only thought, besides, "when will I be able to call myself 'King of America".

      Manipulation is the only move they will ever make, the only words they will ever say, and the only thoughts they will ever have. Now new thought will come from them only how can I disguise my actions to put citizens in bondage to government, and myself?

    33. Joe Bob Joe, Oklahom says:

      Change the "Food Stamps" program to "Vegetable Stamps" and "Fruit Stamps" and "Junk Stamps". Everyone should have a quota of various stamps in which to purchase your food determined by the various Vegetable, Grain, Fruit and Junk Food Czars on the Obama Council of Controlling Calories. There. No one would be able to buy more food than they need! Excellent.

      "Beer and Twinkie Stamps" for everyone!

    34. Tim Az says:

      Just for the sake of argument lets say there are 500,000 families of wich a child experiences hunger multiple times through out the year. It would go a long way to know just how much these people now in the white house really are concerned about it. Based on the amount of our tax payer dollars they have spent on feeding themselves including flying in a multitude of famous chefs to cook at their feet. I think if the people knew the dollar amount spent since they moved into the White House on food and its preperation during the worst economic times that Mao-Bama has created for the people of America. Blood would be shooting from the people's eyes. Before you cry Bush he was a fan of peanutbutter sandwiches rather than beef at a hundred dollars a lbs.

    35. Grace says:

      BO and MBO should take a peek at the real problem here. They need to educate the uneducated – teach them about proper nutrition instead of handing out food stamps so they can buy high fat foods. But who are we kidding here? We're been trying to educate these people for years – no luck – they just keep getting the food stamps, welfare checks and medicade and they are quite happy. If their kids are hungry it's not the fault of the taxpayer – it's the fault of the culture. Get real about these issues and then maybe we can do something about them.

    36. Cliff, North Little says:

      The genetic component should get at least some attention in this discussion. Not as an uncontested excuse, but as a biological given in

      many humans at practically any age. Effectively understanding some of the psychological influences that tend to lure our behaviors and consumption habits such as … marketing techniques, availability mechanisms that motivate, peer pressure/compliance for socializing,

      and just plain … GOOD TASTIN' – GOOD FEELIN' …foods we find ourselves devouring for now but wind up payin' for it later, all contribute

      to this "pictureless box of puzzle pieces".

      Computer games, texting, and other "couch-tater-type-activities", certainly don't help to burn-off the BTU's. Parental involvement is key to

      address the problems that THEIR children encounter in order to encourage them to ignite their attitudes and become more INVOLVED with the BEST IDEAS that actually RESOLVE such challenges. The

      IDEAS that include productive physical and mental workouts to improve

      and further develop better decision making skills and patterns.

      Finally, BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIAL PROGRAMS, while surely "goodly-intended", have created patterns of dependency that literally STRIP

      AWAY the work ethic that encourages the mental and physical activities

      REQUIRED for an overall healthy state of well-being. Why should we think MORE BIG GOVERNMENT, dictated from the Washington "BELT-WAY", will help when they continuously loosen their belt and allow the

      "FAT" (TAXES) to proflierate into more counterproductive results.

    37. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Interesting observations posted above For me its a simple trip to the mall. In general fat people have fat kids – skinny people have skinny kids. The problem is multifactorial but clearly "the government" is not helping but rather enabling the problem. For me its the circumference of the store, not the center isles that should qualify for food stamps for those truley in need. If Michelle really wants to deal with obesity then let unbiased nutrition scientists award "bar codes" to products that are healthy. Simply scanning the item will allow food stamps to be used for purchase. At some point, however, citizens must accept responsibilty for their actions and if they chose to be fat then its their problem. Just as the airline industry has an "oversized" passenger ticket, so should their be penalities for the obese if they use my tax dollars..

    38. Chris, Springfield, says:

      Allie makes this sound as though it's a zero sum game, that you can't have a hunger problem and also have an obesity problem. We all see in real life that that's not true. I think her real point is that we're going to spend billions of dollars on programs that simply will not work.

      The bottom line is that highly processed foods are very inexpensive per serving. They are also some of the least nutritional foods. If you have a low income you're more likely to maximize your food dollar, so even if you have affordable, nutritious options, you'd be more likely to still go with the cheaper, high caloric, high salt stuff.

      My concern is when the government figures out people will not willingly do what it wants, it will force them to do what it wants through Draconian measures.

    39. Lisa, Texas says:

      This article specifically addresses Texas but if you read the whole thing it talks about the lack of access to healthy food for low-income families. Read it with an open mind.

      Also, I am a firm believer no matter one may think of the parents the children should not suffer.

      http://www.cppp.org/files/3/USDA_testimony_sep%20

    40. Damon S. McClure, Le says:

      Seeing those twinkies, make me hungry.

    41. Damon S. McClure, Le says:

      Michelle might want to look in the mirror first! Figure out how to slim down those thighs/hips!

    42. Damon S. McClure, Le says:

      Where is the accountability?

    43. guest says:

      It is apparent that if you sleep together you tend to think the same no matter what the cause. Food stamp and making people dependent on government is the answer is so very true.

    44. guest says:

      The way I see it is if something is free and you know you have to spend it before you are denied next month you have to spend it all no matter what you buy as long as it is spent. So, what do you do. You go down to the nearest Wal-mart and shop the heck out buying all kinds of convient food so your kids can just snack all day long and then, you buy the best cut of meat because, it's free. Then, add all the eating with laziness to take care of your kids and yourself because, healthcare is free. You simply don't care what happens to your body and you don't have the mentality of conserving food because it's free. It is a hughe problem of waste adding to obesity. If a family works hard to put food on the table they value the meat and shop for the best deal on fresh vegetables and meat and actually make a meal which is cheaper than convient package food. So, government program is the problem and a waste adding to these unintentionally consequences of bad policies of dependency, obesity, etc.

    45. Ron says:

      Spending insignificant amount government money on "selling" good nutrition and movement relative to what private industry spends selling soda, candy, fast food, and other junk isn't going to solve the problem. It's the wrong solution. I think the spend on this misguided plan is 10B over 10 years (1B/year). That's a drop in the bucket (not that I want it spent at all). Compare that drop to what private industry spends per year: they spend 10B PER YEAR on advertising to children and parents to sell crap. Advertising works–plain and simple: business isn't going to throw that kind of money in the ring year after year if it netted no results. No privately held company throws away money on things that don't work. (It's fine to argue that "it has no effect on me and my kids"–but then again, would business spend that much if it did not work? Think!)

      The second issue is government subsidies: welfare for family farmers and large agribusiness. Corn, which is used to produce almost all the crap that causes obesity, is artificially cheap because we the taxpayers pay to keep it artificially cheap. In fact, farm subsidies are found for milk, soy, wheat. Those are to blame. Fruits and vegetables get little or no subsidies; organic produce gets none. Cheap corn goes to produce cheap beef (and artery clogging as compared to grass-feed); cheap candy; very cheap soda (1 soda/week increases obesity risk 2x; drink 5-10 sodas and you're going to be fat, period).

      If the Free Market were actually at play here the cost of crap would be more expensive than healthy foods; profit margins would change; advertising would shift; and over time people would choose foods that do not promise a quick road to obesity. The brainwashing through advertising would stop and crap would be expensive to buy. The answer here is less government! End farm welfare!

      But I would bet anything that if you tried to cut government welfare for farmers both the Heartland and Business would scream bloody murder. Smaller government is always great when the "smaller" piece doesn't mean taking the dole out of your pocket….

    46. Carol, Roswell, GA says:

      The real problem in America is teenage pregnancy, which leads to young girls dropping out of school, abuse of children, increase in health care costs (premature and drug/alcohol syndrome in babies), neglect, foster care, social programs from cradle to death, generational poverty and add to all this poor eating habits due to lack of education/parenting skills on the teenage mother's part. Mrs. Obama's focus should be on enpowering young girls to take control of their bodies, and minds, work towards a goal of education and a job to sustain them for their life. Mrs. Obama should speak of her education, her life before meeting President Obama, her marriage and her two wonderful, healthy children and that all girls should subscribe to that goal. The programs are out there to help pay for education; let's put the focus where it should really be and end this sad situation in America. Mrs. Obama is the perfect example of what a wonderful life can be; she is missing a chance in a lifetime to make a difference in young girl's lives.

    47. Ron Smith says:

      I have trouble with the argument that hundreds of thousands of American children are going hungry. I understand the problem with obesity, as it seems to be a no brainer. Someone mentioned that if a child has a couple of bucks and the choice between buying a candy bar or a piece of fruit, they’re going to buy the candy bar. Try taking an unpackaged food item to a child’s classroom to share with the class. School administrators will be beside themselves trying to avoid a lawsuit for feeding some kid something prohibited in his/her special diet or to have a kid exposed to a food allergy.

      The American diet is filled with high sugared, processed foods. Combine that with our lack of exercise and, duh, we’re going to have a problem with people being overweight. Yet, the starving children thing seems to escape me. I have worked in public service for the past 20 years dealing with the poorest of the poor and the worst of the worst. While I have seen poverty in the USA, our poverty is nowhere near comparable to the poverty of third world nations. It’s not the lack of money that causes children to starve or become obese, it is moral poverty.

      With both the “starving” children and the obese children there is one common denominator: parents. There are all kinds of parents. Many good parents who are very active in the lives of their children contribute to the nutritional deficiencies by stocking up on processed foods, fast food, soda pop, etc. The families that I’ve seen that are the most poverty stricken by the financial standards our government seems to use are in the situation because of lifestyle choices. All too frequently the parent(s) are substance abusers. If their kids are hungry it’s because they leave the kids to fend for themselves and the kids will eat whatever happens to be around. Usually non nutritious junk food that’s cheap to buy and easy to consume.

      If kids are in school, there is often a free lunch program. If these kids are not getting fed at home, they should be getting nutritious meals at school. Have you ever gone to the school to eat with your kids? Breakfast is a sugar filled pastry (not everyday) and a small container of juice. Lunch might be pizza. Yummy, but where the nutrition in pizza crust, pizza sauce, and a few pieces of pepperoni? Sadly, much of the school lunch menu is made to resemble that of home and/or a fast food chain.

      It seems to me we don’t really have a crisis as we’re told to believe. It sure does seem that it’s another way to get more money so that the government can save us from ourselves. Why is it the crisis never seems to end and grows larger each and every year?

    48. Dee Dee in MN says:

      in response to Ron Smith – schools aren't interested in giving chidren healthy food to eat – only taking every penny they can to pay for teachers, administrators and anyone else who works for the school their salary – kids come last in our schools. If you want your kids to eat healthy – give them healthy food, get rid of the television, but either way its an individuals right to behave the way they want to – we can't force anyone to eat healthy

    49. Cindy says:

      We need food co-op's.

      I think they need to set up community projects taht resemble Kibbutz's in Isreal. On most Kibbutz's in Isreal, at the least the earlier ones, the adults live in private quarters; children are generally housed and cared for as a group. Meals are prepared and eaten communally. Members have regular meetings to discuss business and to take votes on matters requiring decisions. Jobs may be assigned by rotation, by choice, or by skill.

      The positive outcome included a higher educational level amoung the children raised on the Kibbutz's, 20% went on to highger education after high school, compaired to 12% from the general population.

      One of the major problems I have seen with families living in community housing, is lack of supports. What is wrong with collaboration. They can have a community center where the meals are prepared, they take turn working in the kitchen, the farm, etc.

      The children would be better care for, they would eat better, they will have chores, and get exercise.

      Problem solved.

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    51. Pingback: Milk, Soda and Some Very Fuzzy Math

    52. Rachel Brown, KY/ID says:

      It's always the "too much" argument with conservatives. The problem with evaluating things in terms of "too much," and "too little," is that it ignores substance. It ignores what is actually there. While you may bring up a point – you ignore ideas that lay outside of your political realm. This is an extreme shortfall in your arguments. When we look at anything through the eyes of a political lens (example: the heritage foundation – conservative bias propaganda), we ostentatiously blind ourselves from other factors, other truths. It's like only looking at a crumb of the truth, but because we ignore the rest – we fail to recognize what the crumb actually is.

      I don't believe that you bring up the idea that it is possible to be obese precisely because you can't afford high quality foods. I can attest to the fact that – being a poor, married college student I often have to forgo many "healthy" meal choices simply because the unhealthy ones are where you get your moneys worth. For some reason, when people think of "unhealthy foods," they think of potato chips, candy, pop, etc. I can't even afford that. What is unhealthy but affordable are things like Mac and Cheese, Spaghetti, rice, tortillas, sugary cereals (supersize bags), – these are things that I eat all the time. Not because i'm a lazy slob, but because these things actually fill me up, they make me feel full and satisfied the longest, for the cheapest value and the most ounces. I look at the fruit, it's expensive! It usually doesn't fill me up, either. So I forgo the fruit and vegetables because spaghetti will fill me up. I know that it's not good for me but I don't really have any other choice. I really wish we would stop belittling those who have less than us by making them out to be idiots who don't know what is good for themselves. True, I don't believe more money in food stamps is the best option, but honestly, it's better than giving tax breaks to the rich who do have the money to buy freshly imported fruits and vegetables, and a personal trainer along with it.

    53. Lynne says:

      There is a dichotomy here which is being missed. People who struggle with food insecurity often also suffer from obesity but not because they are lazy and "drink too much soda." Let me explain. When someone is food insecure i.e. they don't know whether or not the food they have to feed their family will last until the end of the month or they don't know where their next meal is coming from, people tend to eat food high in carbohydrates, like pasta and rice because they are filling and inexpensive. They also pack on weight. That is why you see people who are hungry are often overweight. Let's stop using hunger as a political weapon and help people help themselves. No one should have to go hungry in the United States or be food insecure.

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