Thursday, August 16, 2012

Politics of Food

Here is a good article about the politics of food.
But far fewer people pay attention to reverse food snobbery—to folks who are proud of eating junk, and lots of it, in part out of the conviction that doing so offends Whole Foods shoppers, who, on this view, "think they're better than us." When Michelle Obama announced her program to encourage American children—one in three of whom is overweight or obese—to eat healthier meals, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin attacked the First Lady as a busybody and a fatso.
Children need guidance on how to eat and what's good for them; that's what adults are for. If you define "what's good for kids" as "what kids want to eat," they would gorge on cookies and ice cream at every meal. The right thing to do is not always the easy thing. Isn't this common sense—especially for conservatives, who profess a belief in personal responsibility?
Apparently not. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the states with the worst childhood obesity rates are all in the South, the most culturally conservative region in the country.
Read the whole thing. I come from a Crunchy Con family, and this is the kind of article I might write. I agree with it, and I learned some things:
Granted, nobody on a limited budget can afford to shop exclusively at Whole Foods. But then again, Americans expect to spend far less of their income on food than do other industrialized nations. The USDA reports that in 2010, the average American spent 7 percent of his income on food—roughly half of what Western Europeans do, the UK excepted. European Union 2011 statistics show that though Britons spend only 9 percent of their income on food, they are the most obese population in Europe.
Another bit of evidence that cheap food makes you fat.
Interestingly, I did not find it from the food-related RSS feeds I subscribed to after working at the FDA. I got it from an old favorite: Atomic Nerds, who linked to the article and added more good commentary.

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