Tuesday, 07 June 2011

Obama Admin Continues to Focus on Obesity

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After the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the newest food diagram, which will replace the food pyramid, the Agriculture Department also announced that it will be spending $10 million in grants, double the amount allocated in 2010, in order to construct roadside stands and healthy food outlets.

The Blaze reports:

These new venues will be strategically placed in food deserts. In the past, Michelle Obama has described these areas as places where families wind up buying their groceries at the local gas station or convenience store, places that offer few, if any, healthy options.

The First Lady asserts that these food "deserts" contribute to obesity. CNS News explains:

The priority this year is to bring fresh food to people living in rural and urban food deserts, a concept advanced by First Lady Michelle Obama. Food deserts are defined as areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly those composed of predominantly lower-income neighborhoods and communities

According to the USDA, the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) is seeking to fund projects that contribute to the economic and physical health of communities across the country. The funds are expected to increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding farmers markets.

The USDA National Farmers Market Directory has already grown a great deal, increasing from 1,755 in 1994 to 6,132 today. The federal government asserts that the goal is to assure that all areas have access to healthier food.

The deadline for competitive grants is July 1.

The announcement to increase funding for turning food deserts into healthy food areas comes on the heels of the release of a new food diagram by the USDA. Instead of the familiar food pyramid, the new diagram reveals a plate divided into four categories: fruits, grains, vegetables, and protein. On the side of the plate is a circle designated for dairy. (See illustration below.)

TakePart.com notes issues with the new diagram, however:

Though many hailed it as an improvement to its predecessor the cryptic food pyramid there was one glaring discrepancy: the White House promotes fruits, veggies, and whole grains, while primarily subsidizing dairy and meat industries.

How misaligned is their preaching with their practice?

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says, More than 60 percent of agricultural subsidies in recent history have directly and indirectly supported meat and dairy production. Less than 1 percent have gone to fruits and vegetables.

Apparently food is just another area in which the federal government has proven to misallocate taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration has already invested $2 million for food behavior scientists to engineer and utilize marketing techniques that can manipulate children into choosing fruits and vegetables as healthier alternatives to snacks such as chips and cookies.

Likewise, the administration provided $2 million to fund a computer program which takes photographs of students plates and lunch trays in the school cafeteria and analyzes the photos in order to identify every piece of food on the plate. The program determines how many ounces are consumed and calculates the calories in the consumption.

Some take no issue with the amount of money being invested in targeting American obesity while the United States is bleeding money on three foreign wars, the American dollar is being inflated, and unemployment rates continue to hover around nine percent. Some are allowing their hearts to be manipulated by assertions that the government intervention is for the common good.

What is certain, however, is that the federal government has no constitutional authority whatsoever to concern itself with the diets of the American people, not to mention to use tax dollars in pursuit of such endeavors.