Monday, February 7, 2011

Health Guidelines and Food Stamps

The US government has once again updated their food pyramid and guidelines for healthy living.  The new report suggested lowering calorie intakes and consuming less salt... duh.  I think there are plenty of private organizations that stress these things, and far earlier then the US government does.  Not to mention the general public will probably be quicker to follow what is said about health on "The Biggest Loser" tv show rather than a report the government issues.  Before we go any further, I have one quick point to make.  Obama stated in the State of the Union that he wants to cut out unnecessary government agencies.  I have a suggestion.  How about the the people who update the food pyramid, years after the healthy suggestion are main stream.  Just a thought.

Since we do have an agency devoted to healthy eating guidelines, why not put their recommendations to good use?  How about we mandate that those people on food stamps have to purchase only healthy foods, that fall into the guidelines?  After all it is an assistance program that the tax payers pay for and the government facilitates.  And the government believes the country needs to adopt healthy eating habits (rightfully so).  We might as well start with those that need nutrition the most, right?

1 comment:

  1. The reason why government agencies need to officiate guidelines (for instance, Healthy People 2010 with the new DRIs) is because professionals such as doctors and dietitians are licensed by the state and government to consult patients and therefore can only follow government regulations. Yes, organizations such as the American Heart Association have been recommending a lower calorie, lower sodium, overall healthier diet for years, but the practitioners that patients are going to usually don't work for private organizations like the AHA but the U.S. government. It's really sad because a licensed practitioner may have to advise a patient on something that the practitioner does not believe in just to avoid liability issues. Moreover, the SNAP program, as well as other food assistance programs, do have limits on what people can buy while in the program. Most people are required to go through an educational program and are given suggested menus and whatnot. So, when you see a person in the SNAP program buying groceries, they're most likely using their government money for day to day basics (cereal, milk, bananas, etc) and then using their own money to buy unhealthy foods (an unfortunate situation).