This weekend, I was stopped on a street corner by a non-profit group trying to gather support for their agenda. The agenda item mentioned to me was the importance for change in government subsidies due to the rise in childhood obesity. That seemed like a bit of a stretch to me, so I asked about it. The answer I received was that by subsidizing corn production to the point where it’s cheaper to buy corn products than fruits and vegetables, the government is causing childhood obesity issues.
As someone who already avoids high fructose corn syrup and does not eat meat since most of our meat supply is grain-fed rather than grass-fed, I do agree with the premise and was initially excited to learn more, but further thought had me asking if it wasn’t a bit of a leap to go right to subsidizing obesity? Part of the growing obesity issue isn’t just the food we eat; it’s also a lack of activity. Both the PTA and the CDC have published suggestions for limiting TV and video game time and getting children to move. This not something that can be blamed entirely on the government and the overproduction of corn.
I’d love to say more, but really the whole point of this post is the jump in reasoning made by this group. Our government does need to make some changes so that the healthy living message is consistent – if a private corporation was preaching one thing and funding another, the public would be all over it – but huge jumps in logic for the sake of garnering support don’t improve credibility.