The United States of America is the fattest most obese nation in the world (according to the Huffington Post). Take a minute to soak that in. Out of 196 nations we’re the biggest and not from sea to shining sea.
According to the CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) there is a direct correlation between income and their BMI (body mass index). Those with a lower income are more likely to be obese, which is peculiar to me because low income families are eligible to receive government assistance for food via food stamps. So money is available to make healthier choices but people are choosing the lesser.
My own mother receives food stamps, so this isn’t me judging from the outside looking in. I feel disgust when I look in our refrigerator and see processed fattening foods , because I know the long-term repercussions that unhealthy food can cause. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all related to being obese.
From an economic stand point I completely understand the choice people in America are making. The poorest people in our country are the fattest people in our country. It is cheaper to buy a bag of Doritos than it is to purchase a carton of blueberries. People are making the economically wiser choice.
The problem lies within Congress. We need to subsidize farming more in the United States and change the nutritional priorities. We need to make the nutritional choice the more cost effective choice. The Food Stamps program needs to be remodeled to mirror the WIC (WOMEN INFANTS & CHILDREN) program.
WIC is a nutritional program that provides aid to low-income women and young children. What’s good about this program is that it doesn’t just hand government money out for people to use, it specifies what can and cannot be purchased according to health guidelines. This provides healthy food the women and children while also educating them for when they’re no longer in need of the program on what is healthy food for children. Make it so those who are living off the government have no choice but to make the right choice, and for those who don’t like it maybe they’ll work harder so they don’t have to.
Now EBT customers can visit a farmers’ market, swipe their card in exchange for wooden tokens to give to vendors in exchange for the food. The wooden tokens (called SNAP tokens) are worth a dollar each and are accepted and almost all vendor booths.
Beginning in July the Kalamazoo farmers market will begin to double the SNAP tokens up to twenty dollars with EBT. For example you swipe your EBT card for twenty dollars and they give you forty dollars worth of SNAP tokens. This is a very positive step in the right direction for a healthier America.