Feds shouldn't tell us what to eat
Mar 13, 2013 | 6851 views | 0 0 comments | 143 143 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

There seems to be an international war on obesity.

Among the world's industrialized nations, the United States bears the dubious distinction of being the world's fattest. In 1992, the USDA introduced the food pyramid which was greatly influenced by politics. The pyramid recommended 6 to 11 servings of grains daily, more than any other food group.

Since that time, the number of overweight Americans has risen 61 percent. The federal government has been subsidizing and promoting the consumption of high carbohydrate foods such as wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton. Farmers are paid based on how many bushels of these crops that they grow, which promotes overproduction.

Farmers growing fresh produce, by contrast, receive very little from Washington. In 2011, the food pyramid was replaced by MyPlate, which is better but it still has grains occupying a sizable portion of it.

The federal government should be put on a diet by getting out of the business of subsidizing crops and making dietary recommendations. If food prices were dictated solely by the market rather than politics, it is likely that fruits and vegetables would be less expensive than processed, unhealthy foods. This would create a more informed consumer and they would eat a healthier diet.


Janet McCarthy


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