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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Obama’s obesity epidemic -- By James Bovard, The Washington Times

 (Illustration by Alexander Hunter, The Washington Times)

More food stamps mean fatter kids 

Illustration: Obesity by Alexander Hunter for The Washington TimesFederal food programs are now feeding more than 100 million Americans. The number of recipients has soared in recent years, thanks in part to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign pledge to abolish childhood hunger by 2015. The food-aid explosion is worsening the nation's obesity epidemic, though, and making a mockery of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

The Obama administration is aggressively expanding the largest federal food program, bankrolling food-stamp recruiting drives and swaying states to waive asset and income limits for applicants. The result is a boost in enrollment to almost 48 million.

Numerous studies going back to the 1970s have linked food stamps to poor eating habits. Baruch College professor Diane Gibson estimated that participation in the food-stamp program for five years boosted the odds of young girls being overweight by 43 percent. Professor Charles Baum, writing in the Southern Economic Journal, estimated that food-stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than eligible nonrecipients and warned that "chronic food-stamp receipt may promote lifestyle changes that lead to weight gain."

The Obama administration portrays food stamps as a nutrition program while blocking reforms to exclude purchases of the worst kinds of junk food. The administration did not support an amendment to the farm bill by Rep. Tom Marino, Pennsylvania Republican, to compel the U.S. Department of Agriculuture to disclose how recipients spend their food stamps. Most food stamps are redeemed at large grocery chains or big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, which could easily provide itemized receipts for all food-stamp purchases. The Obama administration is also fighting a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from The Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper, seeking food-stamp expenditure data. The administration apparently feels entitled to treat such information as a "state secret."

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