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Junk Food Bought With Food Stamps Making Nation Unhealthy And Fat

Junk foodFood stamps [1] are making the poor unhealthy by financing a diet of junk food that generates huge profits for giant corporations. That’s the conclusion of a disturbing new series [2] by Washington Post journalist Eli Saslow.

One real cause of the epidemic of obesity [3] and related problems among the nation’s poor is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program popularly known as “food stamps,” Saslow discovered. Particularly disturbing is Saslow’s description of Blanca Salas of McAllen, Texas, and her children.

“The cheap foods she could afford on the standard government allotment of $1.50 a meal also tended to be among the least nutritious – heavy in preservatives, fats and refined sugar,” Saslow wrote.

Coca-Cola [4], Kraft Foods and Mars Inc. spent $10 million in the last few years lobbying Congress to keep junk foods available to food stamp recipients.

Here’s what a decade of food stamps [1] and eating junk food did to the Salas family:

New book reveals how to survive diabetes if all hell breaks loose. [5]

The Salas family’s experiences seem to be typical of those on food stamps.

Facts about food stamps and obesity

Saslow uncovered several facts about food stamps [1] and obesity that Americans should be aware of. Some of her revelations include:

Local businesses profit from food stamps as well. Businesses in the town of Woonsocket, Rhode Island make $2 million a month from food stamps [7]. Food stamps are now a basis of Woonsocket’s economy. One third of the town’s population now receives food stamps. Local grocery store owner Miguel Pichardo calls the first of the month “Uncle Sam Day” because that’s when he makes one third of his income.

Lobbyists support food stamps for energy drinks

When Texas state representative Terry Canales [8] introduced a bill banning the use of food stamps to pay for energy drinks [9], he found himself opposed by lobbyists from the Texas Beverage Association which represents soft drink makers. Canales introduced the bill after seeing long lines at a diabetes clinic in his home town of Edinburg, Texas.

“We’re slowly killing ourselves,” Canales said of the standard diet in his hometown. Canales noted that energy drinks might cause up to 20,000 emergency room visits a year.

The Post says big government is making the poor sick with bad food — and big business is profiting from it.

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