Check out this article about local and state efforts to combat obesity. Here in Minnesota we have numerous health initiatives in play but it’s not clear to me that they are any more successful than the programs in Boston and St. Louis.
Perhaps the reason why state and local governments have such a hard time gearing on health initiatives is because they are working at cross purposes with the federal government.
Here is a very interesting article about the so-called food bomb. The gist of the article is that outdated federal price supports keep the market price of certain staple foods artificially high, perhaps 100% higher than they should be. Farmers have a huge incentive to over-produce crops with inflated prices that are “insured” by a federal price support. It’s no wonder that wheat, milk, and corn are such huge parts of our diet.
So the situation is this: federal agriculture policy floods the market with toxic foods while local government struggles to cope with the health consequences. We’re like the one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.
Thinking about the problem this way puts Obamacare in a new light. If our leadership really wants to advance the nation’s health, perhaps it should forget about “individual mandates” and rethink federal give-aways to ag-business.