Kenric Ward at Watchdog.org details how the farm bill not only subsidizes well-off farmers and agri-business but actually encourages over-production of unhealthy and fattening foods. So if the government really wanted to do something about the "obesity crisis," they would cut spending for these programs:
“These taxpayer giveaways are all the more absurd at a time when one-in-three kids is overweight or obese, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes are turning into an epidemic,” U.S. PIRG said in a statement.
Since 1995, the government has spent $292.5 billion on agricultural subsidies, $19.2 billion of which have subsidized corn- and soy-hydrogenated oils.
Taxpayers spent $84.4 billion on corn production, $8.1 billion of which funded production of corn starch and sweeteners. Of the total domestic corn produced, 9.6 percent ended up in junk food and beverages as sweeteners or thickeners.
Apples, the only fruit or vegetable to receive significant federal subsidies, garnered $689 million during the same period.
By contrast, nutritionists point to the “Twinkie subsidy.” Of 37 ingredients in the fattening, empty-calorie confection, taxpayers subsidize at least 17, including corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable shortening and corn starch.
At an estimated $7.30 per taxpayer per year, the subsidy would buy each taxpayer 20 Twinkies. The apple subsidy, amounting to 26 cents per taxpayer per year, would purchase less than one half of one Red Delicious apple.