According to statistics, Kentucky was ranked number seven in the U.S. in terms of obesity rates, with over 30 percent of adults being obese. Childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes are also on the rise in the state.
Yum Brands, the parent company of fast food favorites KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is lobbying the state of Kentucky to allow food stamp recipients to buy their products. Currently only Michigan, Arizona and California allow this. One side argues it should be allowed because some people who are on assistance and may not be able to prepare food for themselves would be able to get meals. The opposing view is that government assistance, aka American tax dollars, shouldn’t be allowed to be used to buy junk foods.
In a day when childhood obesity is epidemic (not “an” epidemic because it’s a conscious choice not a disease) and diabetes is at an all time high the question remains should the government be subsidizing options that continue to be a detriment to the health of the nation? Of course a counter argument that always arises is that the government shouldn’t tell people how to live or in this case eat. I do agree that government shouldn’t be that involved in people’s personal lives and habits however this is the governments money. Welfare programs and assistance aren’t meant to sustain a lifestyle but to be there in difficult times. Their should be limits placed on what can and can’t be purchased with food stamps as is the case in almost all states in the nation. I would only allow the purchase of healthy items like fruits, vegetables and water; no sugary drinks, snacks, candy, sodas, alcohol or meats. If we are honest with ourselves we know the culprit that’s lead the First Lady Michelle Obama to declare a war on obesity. We know high incidents of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other illnesses are a major component of rising health care costs in America. It makes no sense for the government to make it allowable to purchase these items on the tax payers dime on one hand and then funnel more tax payer money to fight the outcome on the other.
Right now one in eight Americans receives food stamps.
With so many American’s receiving food stamps the fast food giant Yum see’s dollar signs and a new potential crop of customers. We would be foolish to think their was an altruistic motive here. The state of Kentucky would be wise to defeat the lobbying effort not only for fiscal responsibility but most importantly for the health of those in a place vulnerable enough to need a little assistance. I’m all for social programs like welfare and food stamps but we do have to be smart about it so that the funds are there to continue to help Americans in need.