It is often argued that farm subsidies have led to the overproduction of commodity crops, and removing these subsidies would help combat obesity by discouraging overproduction of crops that are the base ingredients of unhealthy foods. This white paper analyzes the public health and agricultural economic literature and primary and secondary agriculture policy documents to examine this argument. Findings of the review indicate that deregulation of commodity markets–not subsidies–has a significant impact on the prices of commodities. The authors conclude that public health and health care communities can find common ground with the family farm community by moving beyond the focus on subsidies and advocating for comprehensive commodity policy reform.
Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity? Dispelling Common Myths About Public Health and the Farm Bill
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Policymakers worldwide are considering requiring warnings for sugary drinks. A growing number of experimental studies have examined sugary drink warnings’ impacts, but no research to our knowledge has synthesized this literature. To inform ongoing policy debates, this study aimed to identify the effects of sugary drink warnings compared with control … More
The Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. … More