Two books successfully present us with two new perspectives of the problem, however, both fail to unconditionally acknowledge the presence of the problem itself, i.e. our current dietary behaviors and the way they are affecting our health. We also need to acknowledge that the food industry is an important player in this problem.It spent approximately $30 billion last year on advertising alone, enticing consumers with its vast array of products, ranging from fast food promotions to advertising campaigns about new “healthy low-fat” products. Furthermore, it is heavily subsidized by the government. For example, nearly half of 150 lbs. of per capita sugar consumed by a US citizen is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup and, in the last 10 years alone, the federal government has paid approx. $56 billion to corn farmers in subsidies and other supports, artificially bringing down its cost per acre, and creating incentives for bringing further areas under its cultivation. (Kolbert, 2009)
The most obvious solution for addressing America’s growing problems with obesity is to give it greater importance in our sociopolitical discourse. We need to employ a host of different strategies aimed at various communities and various sectors of the economy. There is strong scientific data available to prove the link between our dietary habits and the increasing incidence of obesity over the last 30 years, and we can no longer afford to argue about the validity of these already-proven studies.
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