42% of Americans Are Obese. Here’s Why.

Marion Nestle, Vincent H. Smith,

Release Date
May 25, 2022


Nanny State Regulations Subsidies

Too many Americans are obese. And while some — both in and out of the U.S. — make fun of America and attribute its obesity epidemic to some moral failing, that ain’t it.

There are many reasons why, according to the CDC, 42% of Americans are obese, but one of the clearest is the federal government. The United States government nudges its citizens toward the twin vices of unhealthy food and OVERCONSUMPTION of that unhealthy food. It does this largely by subsidizing corn, wheat, soy, and sugar — the ingredients that tend to make up junk food. (Don’t believe us? Just check the ingredient lists of Twinkies, Froot Loops, Oreos, and Pringles.)

We spoke to Professor Vince Smith of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Montana State University, who helped us understand what subsidies are, how they work, and whom they benefit (hint: it’s not the people you’d think they should benefit.)

We also spoke to Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition Food Studies in Public Health and New York University, who told us what’s happening to Americans — and even their pets! — as a result of government subsidies. Check out her books here.


Let us know in the comments: What foods can you not stop yourself from eating? Are they typically good for you?

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