Can Juice Plus +® help those who are obese? Certainly food stamps are not helping those who need to lose weight, but a nutritional supplement with nutrients from whole foods will help. We know that those who are obese are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which is one reason we recommend adding Juice Plus +®. Now, here's what happening with food stamps contributing to the obesity.
More than 36 million Americans swipe little plastic cards not containing credit, but government food stamps. They tote their federally funded food stuffs home through the streets of cities marred by abandoned businesses and foreclosure signs. In the midst of our recession, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is becoming commonplace.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report on food insecurity indicated that almost half of all American kids are on food stamps before the age of 20. With food stamp use at record highs and expanding at a rate of about 20,000 people per day, a program once dismissed as a welfare flop now feeds one in eight Americans, according to the New York Times. In contrast, the federal cash welfare program has forced states to bear the entire cost of need. Unemployment insurance reaches less than half the jobless, making food stamps the only aid many people can get, an additional safety net for low-income Americans.
But while SNAP is growing at a record rate, there are several ways in which it needs to be improved. The Department of Agriculture worries that dozens of states are failing to adequately administer SNAP. Kevin Concannon, the Department’s undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, said a mere 18 states enrolled 70 percent or more of those eligible for food stamps in 2007. The estimated participation rate in Washington state is 76 percent, a bit above the national standard. However, nearby Idaho is lagging behind with just 50 percent of its eligible populous enrolled. “I think the response of the program has been tremendous,” Concannon said. “But we’re mindful that there are another 15, 16 million who could benefit … It’s time for us to face up to the fact that in this country of plenty, there are hungry people.” Aside from a discussion of the program’s expansion, critics are debating SNAP’s connection to obesity in the U.S.
In an interview with the Seattle Times, Marcia Meyers, a social policy professor at the University of Washington, said most of America’s poor are not on the verge of literal starvation. But if they use food stamps they may not have access to nutritional foods. As evidence, she points to higher rates of obesity in low-income neighborhoods where 7-11s abound and fresh produce is scarce.
But controlling the kind of food impoverished people eat is eerily paternalistic and, at the very least, impractical. Imagine wandering the aisles of Dissmore’s with a roll of smiley-faced “healthy choice” stickers, trying to determine which of the 50,000-plus products should be classified as nutritional and which have the potential to fatten your midsection. Good luck. Regardless, obesity is at epidemic levels. In 30 states, at least 25 percent of the population is dangerously overweight. And if the recession continues, the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities predicts that the number of Americans in poverty could rise by as many as 10 million, driving up obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In lieu of its burgeoning role, the food stamps program should adapt to counter this prediction.
Fortunately, steps have already been taken to improve SNAP. In the 2008 farm bill, Congress allocated $20 million to explore buying incentives for healthful foods to improve the diets of food stamp recipients. Several nonprofit groups are participating in this effort. One is the Wholesome Wave Foundation, an organization that works to make locally grown products available on a broad scale. In the spring of 2009, it launched a program that doubles the value of food stamps for poverty-stricken mothers and seniors who use them at farmers’ markets in Connecticut, Massachusetts and California. The Wholesome Wave matching grants were an inarguable success. On the first day funds became available, grocery sales using food stamps exploded by more than 200 percent, according to the Washingotn Post.
“We’re not taking away your benefits because you spend them on Twinkies,” said Michel Nischan, president of Wholesome Wave. “But if you decide you want to spend it on fresh tomatoes, you’ll get double your money.” Better to double your money than your body weight. Proper nutrition should not be ignored. Before pressing forward with the food stamp agenda, we should stop to question the oxymoronic absurdity of a nation where toddlers starve to death as their overweight parents snooze in secondhand lazy boys. (source)
Bottom Line: Whether you have food stamps for getting food or not, be sure to get enough fruits and vegetables in your diet. Your health depends on it. That's why we recommend you add a nutritional supplement that has added vitamins and nutrients.
The Health & Wellness Institute, PC Official Juice Plus +® Indepenedent Distributor