Corn Makes You Fat, Fatty
They're blaming the corn subsidies a tad more than the product itself. I'm sure I mentioned that once or twice? Of course, that's not going to change as long as our Presidential election process starts in the Midwest - specifically Iowa.
Anyway, BusinessWeek doesn't credit the Cap'n or Blasphemes for the idea for their story... for some reason.
So I'm gonna' cutn'paste their article for you here:
So, what is the driver behind all this weight? Corn. We are surrounded and tempted everyday by cheap, sugar-laden processed foods, and cheap processed food is made possible by the advent of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Introduced in the late 1970s, HFCS is a liquid that is much easier to use in manufacturing than beet or cane sugar, with a longer shelf life. It is also much, much cheaper, thanks to the $5 billion or so in corn subsidies the federal government hands out every year. There are no comparable subsidies for fresh fruit, vegetables or protein.
HFCS is the reason you can buy ginormous bags of potato chips, supersized soft drinks and bigger and bigger candy bars, all for very little money. Consequently, Americans now eat about 200 more calories a day each than they did in the 1970s, and the rise in obesity closely tracks the rise in the use of HFCS.
The U.S. government shelled out $37.3 billion in corn subsidies between 1995 and 2003. Add that to the $61 billion a year the nation spends on the direct health-care costs of obesity, and you can see how much this gift to farmers is costing the nation. If corn subsidies were ended, or junk food taxed, there might be some price parity with healthier foods (just as smoking declines when cigarette taxes are imposed, and $4 gas prices cause people to drive less). But as long as Iowa holds the nation’s first primary, it is unlikely we will ever see a politician courageous enough to call for an end to farm subsidies. Anyone have another suggestion about how to combat cheap junk food?
For the full state-by-state report on obesity, click here. You should also check out an interactive map that shows how your state has done over time. Or look at the BusinessWeek slide show of the 10 best and worst states. And here’s a calculator for figuring out your own body/mass index.
Thanks for the interactive maps and such.