I just watched a video on CNN that did a story where the interviewer followed a 53 year old man on the food stamp program through a grocery store. His $200 per month food stamp allowance won’t allow for anything that is cooked, or any personal hygiene items….edible items only.
The magnitude of the news is appalling. How can 46 million Americans be on food stamps? That represents 15% of every American or more than one out of every seven people. What is happening to the middle class that is the backbone of America? Whenever we think of the population of the world, we always think of how lucky Americans are because there is little or no poverty. While so many countries have a small number of rich and a mass of population of poor, America has always been pretty much immune to poverty….in the past.
I can’t begin to figure out how to fix America’s problems. However, I can point out that the man in the video who lives on food stamps offers all of us a valuable lesson. The gentleman indicated that the only things he can afford to eat are fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the rest of us who are more fortunate should learn from the gentleman, because we should all be eating fruits and vegetables. None of us can afford the disasterous side effects of the poor dietary choices we make. The $9.4 billion dollars that the government spends per week subsidizing food stamps is just the tip of the iceburg when compared to what our terrible eating habits are costing the health care system.
There are 72 million obese adult Americans, which represents over 34% of the adult population. Another 69 million adult Americans are 32.7% are overweight. That means that 2 out of every 3 American adults are overweight or worse. The multitudes of health problems that are caused by improper dietary choices are going to continue to put more and more stress on the finances of America. Forget debt ceilings and lowered credit ratings, America is eating itself to death.
Something has to give. It’s time that our governments step in and educate the public about the importance of a proper diet. Advertisements for sodas and fast foods need to be banned, or accompanied by warnings similar to those on cigarette packages. Perhaps the government can start by including educational handouts on dietary choices to the 47 million people who receive food stamp cards.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.