Navigation Links
US farm subsidy policies contribute to worsening obesity trends
Date:7/8/2013

Failure to consider public health in the formulation of agricultural policy has compromised the American nutritional environment by promoting the production and consumption of unhealthy foods

San Diego, CA, July 9, 2013 Agricultural subsidies are responsible for making those processed and energy-dense foods that contribute to the American epidemic of obesity the most affordable options for consumers, concludes a new study led by Dr. Mark J. Eisenberg, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. As Congress debates a new Farm Bill that will determine agricultural policy for the next five years, it is critical that public health be factored into legislation that will define the country's nutritional environment.

"Tackling the policies that translate into food production and availability could be the most widespread preventive measure to address the obesity epidemic," according to Caroline Franck, lead author of the paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

While many factors contribute to obesity, the ready availability and low cost of unhealthy foods in comparison with healthy alternatives are crucial. Indeed, obesity has been closely associated with poverty. Grocery stores and restaurants sell foods made from cheap commodities at lower prices, and commodities used in high fat and sweetened foods are artificially cheap because government subsidies have made the crops used to produce them lucrative to grow.

Citing statistics from 2004, the study notes that 96% of American cropland is dominated by eight main crops, including soybean and corn. The former is the source of 70% of the fats and oils consumed by Americans, while the latter is a high calorie component of soft drinks, fruit drinks, canned fruits, condiments, baked goods, and ice cream, all of which contribute to obesity.

Recognizing that farm subsidies are an important safety net for a volatile industry, Franck and her co-authors propose that agriculture policy take public health into account when identifying how they ought to be dispensed. They recommend investing in sustainable agriculture that emphasizes biodiversity, quality foods, optimizing non-renewable resources, and sustaining the economic viability of farmers. Farmers should be encouraged to grow fruits and vegetables in place of produce used for sweeteners and hydrogenated oils.

"A successful reorganization of the American food environment will require commitment to mutually supportive interventions affecting food availability, price, marketing, and health education, at the local, state, and federal levels of government," Franck wrote. "A revision of agricultural priorities is in order: public health interventions will remain limited in their impact until they can inform decisions that are made at every level of the American food chain, from growers to consumers."


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Seidman
eAJPM@ucsd.edu
858-534-9340
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Millions pass up free health subsidy
2. Policies to discourage drug trafficking should account for complexity of the game
3. New policies recognize needs of vulnerable sexual communities
4. Strong tobacco control policies in Brazil credited for more than 400,000 lives saved
5. U.S. Quit-Smoking Policies Need Improving, Experts Say
6. Genes May Influence Effectiveness of Anti-Smoking Policies
7. Exposure to COI policies during residency reduces rate of brand antidepressant prescriptions
8. Local Texas Insurance Agency, Noltensmeyer Insurance Services, Encourages Residents to Update Insurance Policies for 2013
9. Medical School Ethics Policies May Affect How Doctors Prescribe
10. National study of nanomaterial toxicity sets stage for policies to address health risks
11. Hospitals Enact Policies to Curb Early Childbirth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... announce the integration of Microsoft(R) Word(TM) Online(TM), which enables sleep physicians to create ... it streamlines the reporting process and provides a familiar interface that does not ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... sleep affects much more than energy – it also has mental and physical benefits. According ... reaction time, which can increase the risk of having a car accident. , This ... NSF to help you sleep better and feel better:, , Turn ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Ushio America proudly ... offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most instant-start and ... These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving labor and ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... exposed to more adverse experiences than children in the general population. That’s because ... abuse, neglect or other family challenges. While no fault of their own, youth ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Early detection ... improve drug safety and minimize the cost of development. In this webinar, sponsored ... using cell lines and for cardiac toxicity using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), ... address significant unmet medical needs, today announced that ... consumer product development program, based on its proprietary ... Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  ... the sciences relevant to skin health and disease ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017   ZappRx, Inc ., a digital health ... process, today announced it closed $25 million in Series B ... firm based in Seattle that is ... . The Series B round included participation from SR ... and GV (formerly Google Ventures). As part of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Eyevensys, a private biotechnology company developing ... technology that enables the safe, local, sustained production of ... range of ophthalmic diseases, announces it has received approval ... (MHRA) to advance its technology into clinical development. ... The EyeCET platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: