Stop Subsidizing Obesity

Put Junk Food Subsidies on a Diet

Our tax dollars should only go to things that serve the public good, yet we’re handing out taxpayer subsidies to big agribusinesses to help subsidize junk food. Huge, profitable corporations like Cargill and Monsanto are pocketing tens of billions in taxpayer dollars, and turning subsidized crops into junk food ingredients — including high fructose corn syrup.

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.

Obesity Quick Facts:

  • Diets high in saturated fats impair learning and memory.
  • Once an adult problem, diabetes associated with obesity is growing among children.
  • One in three school-age children are overweight or obese.
  • The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.

With Congress looking at ways to trim spending and reduce the deficit, cutting this kind of wasteful spending has the potential to bring together allies from across the political spectrum.

But big agribusiness will fight to protect their billions in subsidies. We know, because in 2008, they spent $200 million lobbying and on campaign contributions.

No one in Congress wants to be seen standing up for taxpayer giveaways to junk food, and with public concern about obesity and federal spending at all time highs, your support can help us finally beat Big Ag and end subsidies for junk food.

Issue updates

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Foods

Apples To Twinkies 2012

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients. In this report, we find that in 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Foods

AG SUBSIDIES PAY FOR 21 TWINKIES PER TAXPAYER, BUT ONLY HALF OF AN APPLE APIECE

Baltimore, MD – Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to Maryland PIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Foods

ENDING SUBSIDIES FOR BIG AG IN THE FARM BILL

Our nation’s food policy should be aimed at simple, common-sense goals: promoting the production of safe, nutritious food, and spending precious taxpayer dollars on public interest priorities rather than subsidizing mature industries and unhealthy food products. 

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Resource | Foods

Healthy Foods Project Packet

Summary

Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize the health foods campaign on your campus.

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