Tag Archives: Junk Food

Idiocracy Explained – New Study Finds Western Diet Impairs Brain Function, by Tyler Durden

Fat and dumb go together when they have a common source: junk food. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The dumbing down of America was explained in the 2006 movie Idiocracy, where Private Joe Bauers (played by Luke Wilson), is the definition of an “average American,” takes part in a top-secret hibernation program via the Pentagon, wakes up five centuries later to only discovery just how dumb society has become.

Bauers wakes up in the year 2500, and he’s immediately declared the smartest person in the world. Here’s a snippet from the film:

How does America stumble down a path where its citizens are dumber than rocks in the next couple of centuries, or maybe, in the next couple of decades?

Researchers discovered that volunteers in the study performed with high cognitive processes when they did not consume high fat and high added sugar diets, commonly found in many western-style meals.

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More Force Won’t Fix the American Diet, by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Restoring market forces to food production and consumption, not more government regulation, is the solution to the manifest problems with the American diet. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at aier.org:

Two nutritionists (Dariush Mozaffarian and Dan Glickman) have sounded the alarm about the American diet, saying bluntly what most of us know intuitively to be true:

Americans are sick — much sicker than many realize. More than 100 million adults — almost half the entire adult population — have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Cardiovascular disease afflicts about 122 million people and causes roughly 840,000 deaths each year, or about 2,300 deaths each day. Three in four adults are overweight or obese. … What is making us so sick, and how can we reverse this so we need less health care? The answer is staring us in the face, on average three times a day: our food. Poor diet is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, causing more than half a million deaths per year.

It’s fascinating to contemplate the implications. Here we are debating the healthcare system as a major political issue. Politicians on the stump are calling for this and that. And yet the number one problem with American health can be solved simply by making better choices. The best fix for the vast number of issues rests with the volition of every person.

Why isn’t it happening on its own?

The authors of this paragraph above sense that it has something to do with economics. And they are probably right about that. But rather than seek an end to agricultural subsidies (which make bad food absurdly cheap and plentiful) and the deregulation of food supply chains (which would increase access to healthier choices), our authors call for more command and control.

They push

Taxes on sugary beverages and junk food can be paired with subsidies on protective foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, beans, plant oils, whole grains, yogurt and fish. Emphasizing protective foods represents an important positive message for the public and food industry that celebrates and rewards good nutrition. Levels of harmful additives like sodium, added sugar and trans fat can be lowered through voluntary industry targets or regulatory safety standards.

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Startling Look At How Much Money Food Stamp Recipients Spend On Junk Food, by Tyler Durden

Neither fruits nor vegetables made the top twenty-five of what food stamp recipients buy, but soda pop (1), frozen snacks (9), and frozen pizza (13) did. Poor nutrition leads to poor health, and treatment of that is often on the taxpayer dime, too. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new study just released by the USDA, offers a very detailed look at exactly how participants in the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” (SNAP, aka Food Stamps) spend their taxpayer-funded subsidies. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the amount of money spent on soft drinks and other unnecessary junk foods/drinks is fairly staggering. But, we suppose it’s a nice taxpayer funded subsidy for the soda industry…so score one for Warren Buffett and the Coca Cola lobbyists.

Per the study, nearly $360mm, or 5.4% of the $6.6BN of food expenditures made by SNAP recipients, is spent on soft drinks alone. In fact, soft drinks represent the single largest “commodity” purchased by SNAP participants with $100mm more spent on sodas than milk and $150mm more than beef.

Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.

That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.

By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”

That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.

To continue reading; Startling Look At How Much Money Food Stamp Recipients Spend On Junk Food