OBESITY-Poor Choices or Poor Food System

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Last week’s announcement that obesity in the U.S. has increased and that now every State and The District of Columbia is officially classified as obese with an obesity rate over 25% begs the question WHY? Harvard University (see video) in announcing their long-term study of obesity referred to poor food choices. The foods cited were; corn oil impregnated chips and fries, hi-fructose corn syrup based sugary drinks, refined grains, corn fed meat and corn fed processed meat*. In addition World Cancer research studies and Harvard studies of heart disease and diabetes also implicate corn fed red meat in these diseases. Corn and other grains have been heavily subsidized by U.S. agricultural policy since the 1960’s. Corn based products and refined grains dominate supermarket shelves and fast food outlets. A scientist involved in monitoring our Choptank watershed recently said that water pollution was analogous to human nutrition and waste disposal. He is right. Short cuts in soil management and over fertilization of corn have destroyed half our Corn Belt topsoil and caused the nutrient contamination of almost every river and Estuary East of the Rockies including the Gulf and Chesapeake Bay. Are poor individual choices responsible for us being among the unhealthiest most natural resource impaired Country in the world or is it Government Farm policy and the resultant dominance of bad food on supermarket shelves, at the ballpark, and at the fast food outlets?

*Also refer to The Harvard and Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health websites accessible from our reference page for further information.

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